The Story

Green coffee has always been plagued by the weakness of absorbing anything it comes in contact with, which then presents itself in the cup. Improperly stored beans can display such unsavory characteristics as burlap from the bags they're stored in or diesel fumes from the various modes of transportation used to move it.

With this fragility in mind, Ceremony’s Director of Wholesale, Ronnie Haas had a moment of inspiration. What if he used the bean’s weakness as a means to enhance the flavor profile of the coffee? With the help of Head Roaster, Andy Sprenger, he developed a process by which they would pair specific used wine or whiskey barrels with coffees that they thought would complement each other. Then they began to experiment with conditioning times and roasting techniques to bring out the unique characteristics of each experiment in the series.

The Score

Check out this sweet review from coffeereview.com...


Blind Assessment: Achieves a fine balance of chocolate-toned coffee notes with deep, resonant wine-associated notes – grapy fruit, oak – that presumably reflect the influence of the wine-barrel conditioning of the green coffee. The sensory depth and complexity achieved by this interaction takes this coffee far beyond novelty to something quite original and authentic. Balanced, rich acidity; syrupy mouthfeel. The complex flavor if anything deepens in a finish that balances sweetness with a pleasantly drying hint.

Notes: This is the second in a series of experiments by Ceremony involving holding high quality green coffee in wine barrels to create unusual, in this case striking, wine-influenced profiles. Produced from trees of the Pacas and Mundo Novo varieties. The Santa Teresa farm is operated by third generation owner-farmer Erwin Pohlenz. Ceremony Coffee Roasters is a small-batch coffee roaster and associated educational laboratory, both relentlessly focused on producing the best possible coffee.

Who Should Drink It: Should make a superb dessert coffee, while aficionados of high-end coffee innovation will find it interesting, perhaps remarkable.

The Series

BCS 08:
Costa Rica/
Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel

dark cherry and cocoa nib aromatics. strawberry and dark chocolate in cup with delicate lemon and grape acidity.

BCS 07:
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe ECX/
Bourbon Barrel

vanilla, floral, and pineapple aromatics. sugar cane, dates, and pound cake in a complex cup with lemon acidity.

BCS 06:
Colombia Pedregal/Port Barrel

grape jam and currant aromatics. bourbon, dried dates and raisin in a sweet, balanced cup.

BCS 05:
Colombia Pedregal/
Chardonnay Barrel

agave, honey dew and rum bun aromatics. golden raisin, bosc pear + sugarcane with pomelo acidity in cup.

BCS 04:
Mexico Santa Teresa/
Cabernet Franc Barrel

bourbon and jelly doughnut aromatics. in cup, red licorice, red wine and raspberry jam finish.
You may notice this is the same combo as BCS02 with completely different results

BCS 03:
Colombia Pedregal/
Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel

chocolate, berries and french toast aromatic. in cup, vanilla and raspberry ale. strawberry and red wine acidity.

BCS 02:
Mexico Santa Teresa/
Cabernet Franc Barrel

jelly doughnut, fig, and perfume aromatics. in cup, raspberry linzer and berry compote with young cabernet finish.

BCS 01:
Mexico Santa Teresa/
Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel

vanilla, violets, and grape jam aromatics. in cup black berries and graham cracker crust with red wine acidity