With Tom and Aleco in Ethiopia, I thought it would be swell to take a look at our current Ethiopia offerings as some have changed out since the last time we looked at them all together. I'm very pleased to say that these coffees are still spectacularly expressive, and while all the wet processed coffees had some well stated classic attributes they were still rather distinct from one another.
Start with the odd man out
Ethiopia Grade One Kochere Dry Process
In dry processed coffees, we're seeing cleaner and cleaner cups, and this is something that can be extremely positive, but it can also lead to cups that toe the line of off ferment even closer. This dry processed coffee from Kochere in Yirgacheffe definitely has unmistakably fruited characteristics right off of the dry grounds and all the way though hot to cold in the cup. The fruit is a much jammier fruit with an impressively syrupy body. Not too thin, and nowhere near that highly suspect yogurt-like fruit that I've been seeing more and more of in dry processed coffee. And the fruit is well balanced with earthy cocoa, especially in the finish but also right at the front of the palate as well. I truly believe that dry processed coffees need to be more than simply fruit bombs, and think that the complex in sweetness along with mild dry nuttiness make this coffee complete and a perfect component for espresso or as an SO as well.
Ethiopia Agaro Jimma
Out of the 3 wet processed offerings from Ethiopia, I found this one to be the most citrus forward. In the description here it is described as being restrained as well as having a cleanly disappearing sweetness, which I found here as well, with a wide open finish. This means that the front of the cup is loaded with all the nuanced citrus and fruited characteristics. There was a potent bergamot flavor and aroma, noted by a number of different people when I put this coffee in front of a panel. There was a delicate floral element throughout the cup but the star was the citrus that became more sweetly rounded s fruit as it cools but maintained that bright open.
Ethiopia Illubabor Sota
Sota is a newly formed cooperative, and the cup character is distinct from other wet processed Ethiopias, but I still found it to have the most floral characteristics at City+ then any of the other wet processed offerings. The deeper, darker fruit characteristics do mean that this is a wet processed coffee that can take a deeper roast and still be incredibly sweet and interesting at Full City. The other wet processed coffees defintiely didn't hold up to the darker roasts as well as this coffee did, making this a great candidate for introducing some of your more darker roasts customers to the flavors that are distinct to Ethiopia.
Ethiopia Organic Guji Shakiso
This was the all around favorite at the panel cupping that I held. While the Agaro was more citrusy, and the Sota more roast dynamic but also more floral, this cup was the most rounded with both floral and citrus notes with some incredibly vibrant bergamot notes on the break and warm cups. This also had such complex candied ginger notes that everyone on the panel noted. The long sweet finish gave this a slightly longer lasting impressing than the others, which also lent to it being the favorite. This ginger, honey, and bergamot paring is so distinctive and so well put together, aming this a great SO espresso, but truly this is a coffee that would shine on any and every brew bar, with the Clever brews I did perfectly articulating these nuances.