My Order

The Fresh List: But Is it Seasonal?

New and seasonal aren't always exactly the same.

by Maciej Kasperowicz | February 03, 2020

Recently, when we explored the concept of seasonality as it relates to coffee, we established that seasonality in coffee is more complex than fruits and vegetables, which don’t have to be processed, dried, and roasted before you buy them. But that's only part of the story.

You might still be wondering why, for example, when all the harvest calendars show that East African coffees arrive in early summer, roasters are dropping new Kenyas and Ethiopias in January? In addition to the fact that traditional harvest calendars are getting all sorts of thrown off with an increasingly unpredictable climate, certain unroasted coffees just stand up better to the ravages of time.

And in my experience, East African coffees are absolutely wonderful at lasting until the very end of their harvest cycle. Which explains why a lot of the Kenyans and Ethiopias we’ve received over the past month are so wildly delicious! Here are a few of our favorite bags right now:

Kenyan coffees are known for acidity that can range from savory and wild to candy-like. This one is very much the latter, with punchy tartness that reminds us of lemonade, grape juice sweetness, and note of sweet vanilla.

Augie’s Kenya Kangocho AB ($21.20)

This naturally-processed Ethiopian coffee has both delightful, jammy peach flavors and a little more acidity than we’re used to from a coffee like this, bringing everything into balance. 

Onyx Ethiopia Bensa Shantawene Natural ($25.90)

Some coffees shatter our expectations and some coffees fulfill them as well as they possibly could. This natural Ethiopian coffee is a perfect example of that kind of coffee — blueberries all day, with vanilla, and tropical fruit sweetness all in perfect balance.

Bird Rock Gora Kone ($27.10)

Washed Ethiopias and other gently fruity coffees are often lumped in with the world of light roast, but occasionally we get one in which that kiss of roasty flavor complements those berries perfectly! Such is the case with this offering from Sterling.

Sterling Halo Hartume ($19.95)