Coffee Craft: Harvesting the Cherries

It takes approximately 3 or 4 years for new coffee trees to begin to bear fruit. The fruit, called the coffee cherry, turns a deep and bright red when ripe and ready to be harvested by the farmer.  In most countries, the coffee crop is picked by hand, a labour-intensive and arduous process. Picking is done in one of two ways:

Strip Picking - the entire crop is harvested at one time, either by machine or by hand.  In either case, all the cherries are stripped off the branch in one go.

Selective Picking - only the ripest cherries are picked individually by hand. Pickers rotate amongst the trees every 8 - 10 days, picking the cherries only at their peak ripeness. Because this kind of harvest is labour intensive and therefore more costly, it is used to harvest the finer Arabica beans.


Ethiopia Wild Forest Bonga Roasted Coffee Beans 250g

Net Weight: 250g

From volcanic soils, the Bonga beans grow wild in the lush, dense rainforests of Southwest Ethiopia. The cherries are hand-picked and processed by a cooperative committed to sustainability.

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The Bonga Forest Reserve of 500 square km is some of the last subtropical forest of Ethiopia. Special enough already, but did you know it is thought to be the birthplace of the Arabica coffee bean? Legend has it that goats ate coffee cherries and had the original caffeine fix as long ago as the 6th century.

And the origin, further legend has it, of the word ‘coffee’ itself, derived from ‘Kaffa’, the ancient name of the region.

Today, hidden away in south west Ethiopia, some of these unspoiled subtropical cloud forests remain, rich with biodiversity - coffee trees of course, wild bees (and wild honey), forest cardamon, banana trees and teeming wildlife, like the noisy black and white colobus monkeys above and lions, leopards and hippo below.
The Bonga Forest Reserve’s elevation is perfect for coffee (which best grows between 900 and 1,800m). The shade from the forest trees means slower growth, more bean density and flavour [and helpfully, shorter coffee bushes, making for easier picking!].

The soil is of volcanic origin and rich in nutrients. Temperatures are ideal at 20 degrees and there's lots of rain. The perfect concoction for arabica to prosper.

The coffee is actually 100% organic, it’s just not certifiable as such. It’s the livelihood of independent farmers, processed by cooperatives committed to sustainability.
This coffee is truly unique.

Because of the sheer biodiversity and the coffee’s ‘wild’ growth, the coffee flavours of the Bonga beans vary considerably - sometimes tasting winey with hints of jasmine and orange flowers.

Other beans have hints of raisin, violet and mango. Others have cherry, strawberry and lychee notes.
So tasting notes and pairing recommendations are a tricky thing. There is a consistency of lightness in body and acidity, its complex and suitably expensive due to its wild growth.

Beyond that, we leave it to you the connoisseur to enjoy the cup and to expect different experiences even within the same batch. What is always consistently true - the coffee is great.

Tell us about your experience in the review section.
The following guidance assumes the use of a cafetiere – we can provide other grinds if you prefer.

Freshly ground Ethiopia Wild Foreast Bonga coffee to a course grind.

Use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 220ml [an average mug or large cup size].

Filtered water is best, poured on the coffee just under the boiling point.

Brew for 3 to 5 minutes.
If you would like you coffee beans to be freshly ground by our team, please add your requirement at the checkout.

Grind level options are:

1: Extra Fine - for Turkish
3: Fine - for Espresso Machine
5: Medium - for Drip
7: Medium-Course - for Home Coffee Maker
9: Course - for Cafetiere
Origin: Ethiopia

Bean: 100% Arabica

Body: 2/5

Acidity: 2/5

Roast: Medium Dark Roast
We are happy to grind your beans for you of course - your ground coffee will remain at its best for a few weeks once opened. If you plan to use over an extended period, we recommend buying whole beans and to then grind only the exact amount required for each drinking occasion. Using a 'burr' grinder avoids heating up the beans as regular blade grinders do.

Store your beans or your ground coffee in an airtight container, in a cool [not refridgerated], dark place, away from other flavours. This will best preserve your coffee’s freshness and flavours.


The Story of the French Press

A little like the tea bag, what came to be known as the French Press was probably invented by accident.

Legend has it that an unnamed Frenchmen was preparing a pot of coffee on an open fire in the 1850s, when he realised he forgotten to add the coffee first. Adding it later meant the coffee grounds sat on the surface and wouldn’t brew properly. So, with a metal stick, he pushed a small piece of metal screen to the bottom, carrying with it the coffee grounds. Expecting the worst, the coffee was the best he had ever had. A new way of brewing coffee was invented.
Maybe that’s what happened.

What is true is the first patent issued for a coffee making device that closely resembles the modern French Press was by Attilio Callimani in 1929, an Italian from Milan, by which time Italian’s referred to it as a Cafetiere.

Nowadays, cafetieres are generally made with Borosilicate glass, which is very strong, together with stainless steel. It’s a cost effective and easy way of making an outstanding cup of coffee.

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  • FAQ

    What is the difference between Robusta beans and Arabica beans?
    Robusta and Arabica are simply the 2 main species of the coffee plant. Arabica is thought to be indigenous to Arabia and grows best at higher altitudes with shade and rainfall required, thus tending to be a little more expensive than the easier to grow Robusta. Arabica now accounts for the majority of coffee consumed, because the flavour is smooth and has a natural sweetness, with chocolate and berry undertones, whereas robusta can be quite bitter with a slightly burnt after taste - but is higher in caffeine and produces a better crema in an espresso.

    What sort of grind should I buy – I know there are different grades. Or should I buy beans?
    If you are an occasional coffee drinker then you probably don’t have a coffee bean grinder, in which case, the grind to buy depends on how you intend to brew your coffee. A French Press or Cafetiere requires a course grind and a longer brew, whilst making in the Turkish style means extra fine is required for this distinctive very strong brew. Do make sure you keep your ground coffee in a cool, dark place, well wrapped up. A coffee grinder can be good investment that allows you to buy beans which stay fresher for longer.

  • Delivery & Returns

    UK Standard Delivery: £3.95
    UK Next Day Delivery (mainland UK only): £9.95 (Order before 12pm)
    International Delivery is available, please see our delivery page for details. For more information and Terms & Conditions, please see our Delivery page.

  • Reviews

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