New Coffees June 2017 – Part 2

 

In this blog post, Tom Wilkinson shares his thoughts on our latest crop of new arrivals.

Welcome to the second run-down of our new single estate coffee list for June 2017. This instalment is very much an Ethiopia special, featuring as it does, three stunning new season coffees from the growing regions of Yirgacheffe and Guji. Ethiopian coffees are famed as much for the beauty and variety of their growing regions as they are for the tremendous range of complex cup characters. As the birthplace of Arabica coffee, Ethiopia contains the blueprint for much of what is expressed in other origins around the world. Whether the sparkling floral and tropical coffees of Yirgacheffe/Guji, the stone fruit and chocolate sweetness of Sidamo or the winey and spicy coffees of Harrar, Ethiopia has it all. Throw in the unusual prevalence of two distinct processing methods (washed and natural) and it’s easy to understand why Ethiopia has such an important place in the world of speciality coffee.

Adado Shara

Producer – Adado Washing Station

Farm/Region  – Shara, Guanga, Yirgacheffe

Process – Washed

Varietal  – Heirloom Varietals

Altitude – 1780/1860 m

Buy it here.

This is not a new coffee to us, but instead is one that we love so much that we wanted to offer it for a little longer. It comes from the Adado washing station in the village of Shara which is the Guanga district of Yirgacheffe and is named after the local “Adado” tribe. In many ways this is a typical example of really good Yirgacheffe coffee – complex florals, big tropical flavours and juicy and bright citrus acidity – but with an extra dollop of sweet caramels and a full and creamy mouthfeel to boot. Expect Jasmine on the nose, apricot and tropical fruit in the cup and a refreshing lime acidity that makes the mouth water.

It’s also a very versatile coffee that also pulls a delightfully sweet and juicy espresso. The florals that are so evident as a filter are subdued but the caramel and stone fruit carry well in milk. It is currently going down a storm as the house espresso at Eve Kitchen Craft Bakery in Sheffield and is probably my most drunk filter coffee of the year.

Guji Gigesa (Washed)

Producer – Gigesa Washing Station

Farm/Region  – Shakisso, Danbi Uddo, Guji Zone

Process – Washed

Varietal  – Heirloom Varietals

Altitude – 1800/1950 m

Buy it here.

This washed coffee repeatedly stood out on cupping tables for us and we are delighted to finally be able to offer it to our customers. As one might expect, this Guji Gigesa has a lot in common with the Adado Yirgacheffe. Guji and Yirgacheffe tend to produce similar coffees with the extra altitude in Yirgacheffe lending slightly enhanced floral complexity. The really fun thing about this coffee is currently that we are able to offer it alongside a naturally processed coffee, also from the Guji Zone. Buying both together is highly recommended in order to demonstrate just how powerful an effect processing can be on both flavour and character.

In the cup I found mango, coconut blossom sugar and a delicious and bright acidity that reminded me strongly of sherbet lemons. As expected, the florals are less upfront than in the Adado but there is no less complexity or sweetness. The body is slight but silky and the overall picture is of an incredibly enjoyable and refreshing coffee that is best drunk black to savour it’s fresh and lively fruit character.

Guji Momora (Natural)

Producer – Haider Abamecha

Farm/Region  – Mormora, Limu, Guji

Process – Natural

Varietal  – Heirloom Varietals

Altitude –  1800/2000 m

Buy it here.

Mormora is a 200 hectare farm near the town of Shakiso, located in the Guji Zone of the Oromia Region in the Sidamo Province. Much of the coffee that grows in this beautiful region does so in a naturally organic fashion alongside shade plants and a careful eye on long term sustainability. Though this choice of farming practises is largely economic, the end result (apart from delicious coffee) is that coffee growing in Ethiopia works largely in harmony with nature resulting in enhanced biodiversity and a reduced need for pesticides.

This naturally processed coffee is a very different beast to either the Adado or the washed Guji currently on our books. The extra contact time with the drying fruit has delivered huge sweetness and body with a delicious stewed blueberry jamminess. What is so fantastic about this coffee is that much of the origin character is still evident in the form of a tropical fruit nose and lively citrus/berry acidity, despite the strong influence of processing.

There is so much fruit here that it is hard to pin it all down, but aside from the blueberries I also got some lovely and soft melon, strawberry and peach notes. The finish throws some sweet milk chocolate into the mix for what is, despite it’s incredible complexity, a very balanced and hugely enjoyable cup.