Fall at Blue Bottle
A Coffee Inspired by a Season in a Golden Light
When we first tasted Fall Blend, the cupping room went silent. We had found autumn in a cup. The blend of two coffees, a washed Colombia and a washed Ethiopia, hits all the right notes. Where our Summer Blend was like two jazz soloists riffing off each other, Fall’s a well-rehearsed ensemble piece—like a Dave Brubeck record, effortlessly pleasurable yet deceptively complex.
We think of fall as a time to surrender to comfort. In coffee, there’s a lexicon for those comforting flavors: toasted nuts, chocolate, and browned sugar—the more quintessential “coffee” flavors many of us grew up on. In Fall, we wanted to play up the nostalgic flavor notes while creating a blend that felt as innovative and nuanced as our other seasonal blends. It’s no accident we looked first to Colombia.
Colombia is in many ways the origin of that so-called classic coffee profile. That taste only dates back to the 1950s, when coffee became a mass market drink. But Colombia - and its marketing campaign of fictional farmer Juan Valdez—had everything to do with shaping what Americans thought coffee should taste like. In many ways the first single origin, marketed against the truly mass market blends such as Maxwell House, Colombia led a campaign to educate its coffee growers and drinkers to produce washed arabicas that all but defined nuanced approachability.
Today Colombia offers a far more varied coffee landscape. The coffee in Fall comes from the Huila Department, a high-elevation region nestled between two branches of the Andes Mountains. When roasted darker, browned sugar flavors come to the fore, yet a halo of jammy tartness remains, giving the coffee texture as well as depth.
To add even more complexity, we blended it with a washed Ethiopian, a naturally floral coffee, then pushed the roast further. By keeping the coffee beans on the roasting drum for a minute or so longer, we traded some of the nuanced aromatics for a condensed sweetness that reminds us of a dried apricot or plum.