The Sermon!, an exceptional album by jazz organist Jimmy Smith, is loved by Verve Coffee Roasters founders Ryan and Colby. This album also serves as the flavor and name inspiration for our beloved evergreen blend. A sip of Sermon is a taste of blend sophistication.
Sermon merges stand-out ingredients to create a specific, well-known flavor. Anyone who has opened a bag or tasted a cup of Sermon knows it immediately: blueberry. This signature tasting note is the product of the meticulous blending of different origins & processed coffees. Year after year, Sermon’s components change, but the flavor profile stays the same due to careful consideration and masterful execution by our green coffee and roasting coffee professionals.
This year’s Sermon is a tri-blend coffee from Colombia, Uganda, and Ethiopia. The Ugandan and Ethiopian components are natural or dry-processed, while the Colombian is washed or wet-processed. These processes pertain to producers’ actions to remove layers of the coffee fruit (i.e., coffee cherry) to get to the coffee seed, aka coffee bean.
Coffee processing is methodical, and the differences in the process depend on how the layers of the fruit are removed and how much the pulp will affect the seed flavor. The two processes which pertain to Sermon are natural and washed:
A natural process is a traditional approach that originated from Ethiopia, where the harvested cherries are left with the whole fruit intact and laid out to dry. They are then rotated to control fermentation and decomposition. Once the fruit is thoroughly dried, they are run through a coffee de-pulper, a machine that removes the fruit’s soft flesh, leaving only the coffee bean. This process adds a dried fruit, almost jammy flavor to the bean. Sermon’s famous blueberry notes stem from the natural coffee component of the blend.
Washed processing starts with harvested cherries that are then sorted, de-pulped, and put in tanks to ferment for many hours. The fermentation breaks down mucilage or sweet coating closer to the seed. Coffee seeds are then rinsed and washed in fresh water to halt the fermentation process. After, they are dried either mechanically or naturally under the sun. This process gives the coffee bean a clean taste and vibrant acidity. It highlights the true flavor of the coffee bean not influenced by the pulp’s sugar and flavor like in natural processing. It also gives a more consistent flavor profile. The Colombian washed coffee in this year’s Sermon provides the familiar coffee flavor anchor needed to create a year-round blend.
The beauty of Sermon lies both in the perfect mix of coffees and the individuality that each component brings. The combination lets us appreciate the craft of blending and roasting to create a unified blueberry flavor. The individual coffees make us reflect on the art and science producers employ to cultivate and process coffee.
This sophisticated blueberry in a cup has the body and earthy sweetness best brewed as an espresso. This blend can certainly be brewed every other way, but its flavors are best showcased as an espresso. It also does well with added milk and milk alternatives. Try our recommended espresso recipe below.
In: 19.7-20 grams of coffee
Time: 23-26 seconds
Out: 28-32 grams of coffee