Coffee Goes KABOOM

East Falls biz blows up the city’s java scene with a “berry” special brew

Most coffee drinkers probably don’t give much thought to their favorite bev’s former life as a tropical plant. The way coffee is marketed, it’s only natural to think of the “beans” as some kind of legume or nut. Indeed, a popular national brand is literally called “Chock Full o’ Nuts” — while containing zero nuts. 🤯

Surprise: coffee is actually a fruit! Ripe “coffee cherries” are edible and even quite palatable, with a sweet-tart richness. But there’s no point in eating them, they’ve got very little juice or flesh to speak of. They’re basically all skin and pit, aka the bean we’re all familiar with, stripped clean of any pulp, parchment, or pectin.

But what if we told you there was another way to prepare coffee beans that incorporates the cherry parts, too? 👀👀👀

Thanks to a happy fermentation accident by a Colombian coffee producer, we don’t have to guess what that might taste like. Cultura Coffee’s “Cherry Bomb” is a heady and distinctive brew that’s deeply flavorful without tasting flavored; it’s warmly familiar yet totally unexpected. At first, it’s almost off-putting, but then your brain catches up with your palate, and BOOM! 💥🍒💣  It all makes delicious sense.

Try this flavor explosion now! Even in our modern coffee culture, among a dizzying array of fine beans, roasts, and brews available, this coffee stands out as something special. Whether you have a daily habit or just enjoy the occasional Starbucks, it’s fun how your taste buds will perk up and take notice. And so far, you can only get it in East Falls.

Cherry Bomb is one of two small-batch, single-origin, sustainably-produced coffees by Cultura Coffee, a new Philly social impact brand specializing in exceptional beans from small family farms in the heart of Colombian coffee country.

Cultura Coffee pop up, Nouvaux Market (East Falls), April 2024 via Facebook

Founders/owners Jess Charwin and Ed Johnston fell in love with the flavors and culture while working with an eco-tourism company in Medellín. Last December, they started Cultura Coffee from their East Falls home to help neighbors reimagine our relationship with coffee.

In the US, we tend to think of coffee as a vehicle for personal caffeination but in Colombia it’s enjoyed as a social drink that brings people together. The climate in this part of the Andes mountains is so unique, that the coffee produced here reflects each farm’s specific soil, sunlight, elevation, humidity – every little variation creates different characteristics worth savoring with friends, old and new.

“Coffee is really part of the culture in Colombia, that’s why ‘Cultura’ is in our name,“ Jess told us. “We feel like this approach to coffee matches our goals and values as a company.”  Cultura Coffee showcases singular coffees, traditionally grown, that “taste like where they’re from” to inspire joy and connectivity.  In a city full of great to-go coffee, Cultura Coffee asks us to stop and enjoy the aroma.  👃☕💖

GET SOME: Find Cultura Coffee in East Falls, available bagged at Nouvaux Market (3539 Vaux Street) and also at Empanadas United (3492 Tilden Street), where you can buy fresh-brewed by the cup, as well.

🍒 CHERRY BOMB: This 86 SCA-point coffee has a distinct cupping profile bursting with berry and cacao nib notes (and a touch of bourbon). Washed + anaerobic fermentation (120 hours). Grown at an altitude of 1600 ft in Pereira, Colombia.

☀️ ALWAYS SUNNY: Same farm, same varietal as Cherry Bomb but processed differently to produce a smooth, well-balanced roast with notes of sweet red fruits, sugar cane, and walnuts.

ℹ️  INSIDER TIP: Cultura Coffee hosts regular free tastings around the neighborhood, follow @culturacoffeecrew for dates/locations.  📅📍


  1. Less than 1% of the planet is suitable for growing coffee, and of all these areas, Colombia has the perfect conditions for ideal richness and flavor.
  2. Colombia is the world’s 3rd largest coffee producer (Vietnam is 2nd and Brazil is 1st).
  3. Almost all Colombian coffee is harvested by hand from small, family-owned farms.
  4. Colombian coffee is often planted with banana trees, whose wide leaves provide the right amount of sun protection while allowing enough light to stimulate vigorous growth.
  5. Coffee grown at high elevations tends to be more acidic and lively on the tongue than those from lower altitudes.
  6. Coffee is considered an annual but in most parts of Colombia, it has two growing seasons, providing a continuous range of fresh harvests through the year.
  7. Colombia exclusively grows Arabica beans, whose flavor is valued over Robusta, which is harsher, with a higher caffeine content.
  8. Recent gene research has determined that Arabica coffee is about 600,000 years old, and originally from Ethiopia.
  9. Legend has it that coffee came to the Americas in the early 1700’s, by a French naval officer who sacrificed his own water rations to keep his plants alive through the journey. From here, a Jesuit brought it to Colombia.
  10. The “Coffee Cultural Landscape” of Colombia – including many historic towns and haciendas — was declared an UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011, recognizing a sustainable and productive cultural landscape of global importance.

What do you think? If you’ve tried Cherry Bomb or any other Cultura Coffee selections, please chime in below in the Comments. Learn more at

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