Coffee Reviews

Billowing (Ethiopia) – Summer Moon Coffee

Andrew Pautler

Coffee Details

  • Coffee Name
    Billowing
  • Roaster
    Summer Moon Coffee
  • Roaster Location
    Austin, Texas
  • Estimated Price
    $12.95 / 12 oz
  • Flavor Notes
    Sweet blueberry, vanilla
  • Process
    Fully washed and dried on raised beds
  • Varieties
    Indigenous heirloom cultivars
  • Country
    Ethiopia
  • Region
    Dara, Sidama Zone
  • Elevation
    1700 MASL
  • Producer
    Nura Korate Cooperative
  • Roast
    Medium
  • Other Notes
    Fair Trade, organic

Coffee Scoring

8.7
Aroma
9 / 10
Body
9 / 10
Flavor
8.5 / 10
Acidity/Brightness
8.5 / 10
Balance
9 / 10
Sweetness
8 / 10
Cleanliness
9 / 10
Aftertaste
8.5 / 10
Complexity
8.5 / 10
Flexibility
8.5 / 10
Pros
  • Smoky nature adds nice layer of complexity
  • Nice acidity even with dark roast

Cons
  • Not much sweetness

Disclosure: Pull & Pour received coffee samples for this post, however, as always, all opinions are 100% my own.

I’m always excited to try new and unique coffees, so I was excited to find Summer Moon Coffee, a roaster out of Austin, Texas who uses handmade brick roasters to roast all of their coffee over seasoned Texas oak. The last wood-roasted coffee I tried had a great smoky undertone, so I was excited to try another to see how it compared.

Upon opening the bag, I was surprised at how dark the roast was for a “medium” roast (I would have considered it a dark roast). I immediately smelled the smokey fragrance, which was mixed with roasty and very subtle dark berry undertones. The aroma included much of the same, but also earthy notes as well. Upon brewing the coffee, I was amazed by the incredible bloom, which billowed (pun intended) with the initial pour more than almost any coffee I’ve seen before. In the flavor I tasted roasted notes of chocolate and dark berry/fruit. The acidity was nice and bright at the front and carried throughout, which was surprising for how dark the roast was. The body was full and creamy, but the sweetness was lacking quite a bit. The smoky notes of the coffee did a nice job of balancing all of the other attributes in the coffee. The aftertaste was fairly quick, but had a nice sparkle at the end. My favorite part of the aftertaste though was the taste of campfire when I breathed in after a sip; it was incredibly interesting and unique.

The Bottom Line

The wood-roasted aspect of this coffee was a fascinating layer that added a unique touch I really enjoyed. Billowing was a medium roast, but even it was pretty dark. Their dark roasts would likely be very dark, but for coffee drinkers who enjoy extremely dark roasts, they could be a great fit.

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