Brian Beyke

Ceremony Coffee Roasters - Ethiopia Borboya - Mistobox - June 2014

Brian Beyke


It has been a hot minute since we last visited Maryland’s Ceremony Coffee Roasters.  Last year I had fallen in love with their Panama Santa Teresa honey-processed gesha, one of my favorite coffees of last year and really just an explosive bag.  Sadly, I had browsed the selections but hadn’t made a follow-up since.  I almost picked up some of their vintage conditioned holiday blend, but wasn’t quick enough to grab it before it was gone.  Alas, Ceremony is now back in the house courtesy of Mistobox, and they couldn’t have picked a better selection.  With all the other Ethiopians we’ve visited lately, all seemingly with these incredible flavors that all but explode in the cup, I was excited to make a return trip to the Borboya wet mill in Yirgacheffe Ethiopia.  Let us sit down and explore Ceremony’s spin on the classic Yirgacheffe profile.

Borboya is a wet mill or washing station that receives mixed heirloom varieties from approximately 700 local small-holder farmers in Yirgacheffe. In exchange for payment, the farmers deliver their hand-picked, ripe heirlooms to Borboya, where pulping, fermentation, washing, and drying takes place.


Roaster: Ceremony Coffee Roasters

Region: Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia

Producer: Various Small Producers // Borboya Wet Mill

Process: Full washed

Varietal: Heirloom

Elevation: 1,800 - 1,950m


Brew Method:

Aeropress (Inverted) | 17g © to 240g (w) | 2:00 then plunge by 2:30 total time | 200 degrees | 1.31 TDS | 19.45% Ext. (Immersion mode)

Hard to describe the aroma exactly. Bubble gum?  Rock candy? The sweetest fruits ever?

The grind smells similarly, also introducing peach candies and cotton candy.

The aeropress and I go back and forth with Ethiopians, but this one I think is a tasty one.  It’s surprising I chose this as the first make of the coffee, as you lose some of the playfulness due to the richness.

Either way, it does start off a bit bright.  I wouldn’t quite call it grapefruit and it’s not really lime: it is sweet, a bit pointy, but not very lingering.  It has this really beautiful attribute as it falls off that acidity that I can’t quite describe.  Like a waterfall of sweetness cascading and it reminds me a lot of florals and tropical fruits mixed with lighter elements of honey and peach.  I think it’s the immersion make, that gives this richness to the notes giving it that effect, otherwise I think it would be fluttery and sweet and playful.  This is a bit buttery, creamy, rounded.

Notes of apple and pear come out later in the cup; warm and inviting like cobbler sweetened with brown sugar.  Those fruit notes are pretty palpable, as mentioned previously because of richness of the cup.  

The later stages are deliciously sweet; with a bit brighter acidity and notes of peach, raspberry, kiwi, mango, passion fruit, apricot, lime, lemon, honey and tea.  There is a bit of a souring effect to some of that sweetness too, almost like sour patch kids.  Either way, a surprisingly tasty aeropress.


Brew Method:

V60 no stir | 14g © to 227g (w) | 2:10 total time | 198 degrees | 1.25 TDS | 18.80% Ext.

Heavily aromatic. Rose, dried fruits, tropical.

Fun and playful, but still carries a bite that reminds me of cinnamon.  Jasmine, rose, and honeysuckle aid in creating these floral infused fruit pops that are sweet and lingering, bright on the front but comfortably so, with a nice honey filled body.  There’s this nice lime/grapefruit acidity initially, nicely clean, and it leads to these candy-sweet notes of pineapple, peach, kiwi, and mango.  Silky smooth, light to medium bodied, and perfumed in such a way that would remind one of gesha.

The cup grows softer, and I guess arguably more complex, with soft notes of dried fruits, apple skin and pear seeming to appear in the finish as well, adding a bit of a drying finish to cup but also leaves lingering notes of apple pie, lemon juice, and floral infused honey.  I will say that I found it a bit more attractive this make in the earlier stages. While it still stays sweet, it was a bit more playful in the warmer moments.


Brew Method:

Shaken Iced Bonmac | 28g © to 280g (w) |  140g ice | 3:00 total time | 198 degrees | shake over fresh ice | serve

Mmmm. I love Yirgacheffe iced.  Sweet and fruity floral notes welcome you to the cup.  Lemongrass, rose, jasmine, lavender in the rear with raspberry, passion fruit, mango, peach, lychee, grapefruit, dried kiwi, watermelon, apricot sweetness.  Acidity is balanced, not incredibly bright or crisp, just sweet, clean, and lightly juicy with lingering floral notes.

A bit of lime comes out, but mainly it just grows more sweet, lingering, and nearly explosive if it wasn’t so delicate.  Honey sweetness, complex fruits, and TONS of floral. I just want to smile, it’s so flipping good.  Immensely gesha-like, palpable honey sweetness, lingering herbal and floral notes, tropical fruits.


For some reason I don’t know that the Aeropress really did it for me here.  The V60, while having this luscious and beautiful start, in the end wasn’t everything I’d hoped it would be.  It was in the iced method that the coffee really shined.  Now, don’t read that as “this offering wasn’t good those other ways,” we can see that the extraction of the pour over was a bit low, so that probabaly had a lot to do with it.  Also, I’ve mentioned before that immersion makes aren’t my absolute favorite for Yirgacheffe profiles, but in all of this your miles may vary.  What I’m getting at is- when tasting the iced brew of this coffee, I could clearly taste all these beautiful attributes that the coffee possesses, more than I personally was able to get out of my other makes.  Similar to Aricha from Populace, Chelelektu from Ruby and PERC… this make really drew out the floral notes and tropical fruits that seem characterstic of the gesha variety.  It was refreshing, sweet, and immensly lingering, (and like I’ve stated before) incredibly awesome to experience from a widely available Ethiopian offering.  It carries a lot of characteristics of your “classic” Yirgacheffe profile, but is just a really, really beautiful example of one.  


Co-host of the I Brew My Own Coffee Podcast and always has all the chocolate. I also love to play board games. Yea, let's go do that right now.