Brian Beyke

Mountain Air Roasting - Sidama Ethiopia - Craft Coffee - January 2014

Brian Beyke

I love Asheville, NC.  I pass by there every year on my way to vacation in Charleston, SC.  It is home to my favorite disc golf course, home to the Moog Store, and home to one of my new favorite roasters - Mountain Air Roasting.  

There are times I wonder why I do subscription services (if you read the intro to the two previous coffees this month).  You don’t have control over what you are buying, it might get to you later than if you just went directly with the roaster themselves….but then you run into a coffee like this, and you remember why you started the subscription in the first place.



Roaster: Mountain Air

Producer: Various Small Producers

Origin: Sidama Ethiopia

Variety: Heirloom

Elevation: 1,800 – 2,100mas

Process: Washed

Brew Method:

Kalita Wave | 45g © to 621g (w) | 4:30 total time | 203 degrees (preferred method)

Dry aroma is beautifully layered strawberry candies, some citrus (possibly orange peel) and lavender.

Medium depth right off the front of the cup, really juicy but a subdued sweetness.  There is a hidden tartness of lime, maybe tangerine.

 I dig deeper and whoa, the sweetness slaps me in the face and lets me know it is there.  The darkness of the cup, whether it is cocoa or what it is, keeps the flavors in check from being too over the top (ala some natural process styles).

 I’m getting big strawberry tastes, blueberry too.  Some dark floral finishes playing around off the bat that are really intriguing. 

All that goes away and the sweetness is there.  It is never over the top, it always sits above the platform of a well-balanced coffee otherwise.

 Coming back a little cooler and I find fruity pebbles galore.  A beautiful cup.  It opens up immaculately, and similarly to the Ceremony Honey Processed Panama Santa Teresa Geisha I tried last year.  Seriously, this is so good.

 Sugary sweetness, floral and lime in the finish, beautiful.


 Brew Method:

Chemex | 32g © to 482g (w) | 5:00 total time | 202 degrees

Jammy body, but lighter than the wave brew.  Similar fruitied notes of blueberry, strawberry, but more of an introduction to blackberry here.  Not as present chocolate/cocoa and other darker notes.  It still rides on that berry jam flavor and mouthfeel through most of the cup with a deep finish, similarly to the lingering of a peppermint in your mouth. 

As it cools more of the blackberry and blueberry come out.  This preparation reminded me more of a natural processed method.  When I mentioned previously about some of the darker tones of the cup keeping the flavors in check, when you lose that here it makes the fruit notes become a little more overwhelming. 

 Juicy, blackberry, intense.


Brew Method:

Aeropress Pour-Over | 24g © to 400g (w) | 3:30 total time | 205 degrees 

Dry aroma of jammy jammy strawberry jam.  The cup itself smells of strawberries and tea.

First sips you get more of a black tea taste, different than on the other methods.  There are some cocoa notes surrounding and a berry sweetness - strawberry, mango, honeysuckle all notes that can be detected.  

A light lemon acidity is found around mid tongue.  

As it cools it dries out the mouth as it swishes around akin to lemon juice. There is a mouthfeel soft like mousse with a silky cocoa finish and honeysuckle remaining in the long finish, along with a taste of honey Teddy Grahams.  

The coolest moments of the cup (temperature-wise) settle comfortably on the notes of floral, lemon, honey and black tea, with the honey seeming to feel stuck coated on the tongue.

Behind the Kalita Wave, this method could be enjoyed over and over again.

Honeysuckle, lemon, black tea.  


Mountain Air is a roaster I will continue to keep on my radar.  If it weren’t for Craft Coffee I’d more than likely never have found this roaster.  Upon checking the site they have a wonderful model of ordering coffee: smaller offerings for smaller prices.  If you are anything like me and are enjoying exploring through regions and different coffees, a 12oz bag is a bit of a commitment.  Being able to order 200g of a coffee is much more my style, and something not a lot of roasters provided.  Kudos to Mountain Air and kudos to Craft Coffee - this is a fantastic offering.

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.