For this week’s review we’ve ventured back to where it all began – Ethiopia – the birthplace of coffee. The vast majority of coffee grown in Ethiopia is heirloom variety. Due to government control over coffee exportation in Ethiopia, we find it very hard (if not impossible) to trace lots back to a specific farm or farmer like we can with our Central American’s for example. Nevertheless, we are continually blown away by the quality of coffee we are buying from Ethiopia as the pickers and growers gain greater awareness of what the specialty industry are demanding in a coffee.
COFFEE – Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Aricha Grade 1 (Natural)
VARIETAL – Mixed Heirloom
WHAT’S THE “NATURAL” PROCESS IN TERMS OF COFFEE?
The “Natural” (also called “Dry” or “Sundried”) process is the original method use to process coffee. It refers to how the coffee is treated after picking and before being packed into jute sacks for export. As the name suggests, after the cherries are picked off the trees they are left to dry in the sun for a specified period of time. The most common way to dry the cherry is to spread it out evenly over a patio or a raised drying bed, thereby allowing for maximum exposure to the sun during the day. The coffee beans are left inside of the cherry and mucilage for the entirety of the drying process allowing for natural fermentation to occur. This plays a big part in the final flavour profile of the coffee. Once the coffee is sufficiently dried it is then hulled (removal of the cherry) and ready for bagging.
This process gives us a very distinct flavour profile – some people love it, some people hate it. There’s no real fence sitters on this one. Typically, a naturally processed coffee delivers a low acidity, a heavy mouthfeel, and a wide array of exotic fruit flavours with a distinctive “funkiness” about them.
HOW DID OUR TEAM RATE THIS COFFEE?
REVIEWED BY – Annie, Thanh and Jimmy
BREW METHOD – Espresso
AGGEGATE BREW RATIO – 22g dry grounds in / 39g liquid espresso out (double shot)
TASTING NOTES –
There was definitely no fence sitters for this coffee! Two of us liked it, and one of us, well, not so much… We usually recommend drinking most African coffee’s black in order to appreciate their wide array of flavours, but we whacked some milk into this one too for interests sake
BLACK – A real typical Yirg natural! Floral, sweet lychee, jack fruit acidity, blueberry, slightly earthy. A lasting sweetness
MILK – Very easy to drink, but not overly strong. Sweet caramels and cocoa coming through. We all agreed that this one should be consumed black though
This coffee is available to purchase in store for $15 per 250g. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to order in advance