Introduction by Chris Kornman
Town Hero. That’s how our resident word-slinger, market analyst, and coffee trader Kevin Morales described this coffee. It’s a special coffee, and has a number of unique attributes that stand out from an already-stacked deck of 2016 Ethiopian arrivals.
It has a winsome (another Morales-ism) and effervescent acidity, a gargantuan body, and it’s filled to the brim with intense and complex fruits ranging from tropical guava, lychee, and pineapple to ginger-peach tea, blood orange, and huckleberry. These flavors are complemented by deep herbal and floral aromas like violets, lavender, and lemon verbena.
The coffee is sourced from family owned farms organized around the Worka Cooperative, in Gedeb. Gedeb is a woreda (district / city) located very close to Yirgacheffe town in the Gedeo Zone of Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region, Ethiopia. The Worka Cooperative currently has 411 members. In 2005, the cooperative joined the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (YCFCU), an umbrella organization established in 2002 to support a sustainable coffee supply from cooperatives in the Gedeo ethnic region of Ethiopia. There are twenty-six other cooperatives affiliated with the YCFCU totaling more than 45,000 members.
Green & Roast Analysis by Chris Kornman
This coffee is dense and dry, as is quite common among the Ethiopian offerings we’ve been analyzing this season. It’s worth noting that the screen size, while relatively consistent, is quite small; almost 80% of the coffee passed through size 16 holes. This created a few minor challenges for me while I was roasting mostly related to color and post-crack development. Check out the roast analysis below for more.
The small screen size of this coffee played a little bit of a trick on my eye when I roasted it. The first attempt, PR-235, also started with too-low of a charge temperature and stalled after first crack. I really set myself up for failure with this one, and ended up with a baked-tasting coffee that accented more savory notes than sweet ones on the cupping table. The coffee was still nice, but definitely hadn’t lived up to its potential.
I went back to the drawing board and my next two roasts were both a bit nicer: I kept a close eye on the color development and made sure that the coffee had enough heat energy before (and during) first crack to avoid stalling.
Our favorite roast was PR-239, a very short roast with a high charge temperature and minimal gas adjustments. We just hooked up our brand new Bluetooth ColorTrack, and PR-239 also happened to be the lightest roast of the three, averaging 57.73 freely settled at a 6 grind on the Mahlköhnig EK-43. It had a bright acidity with a lot of passionfruit and tart lime flavors, and was easily the most complex-tasting.
The other roast, PR-238, was also quite pleasant exhibiting plenty of clean fruit and floral flavors. Despite being the longest roast of the three, I kept a steady heat momentum built up in the drum using incremental gas increases as it approached first crack, and did not need to make any adjustments as the coffee entered caramelization.
Brew Analysis by Evan Gilman
The variety of flavors one can find in this coffee are abundant and all-around pleasant. While we certainly preferred PR-239 on the cupping table, PR-238 rewarded palates when brewed as filter drip. What PR-238 lacked in acidity and floral complexity, it made up for in heavy sugars, deep fruitiness, and layered herbal pizzaz. Truly, both roasts were delicious; this coffee can do no wrong as far as I am concerned.
Looking below, you can see that the two roasts of this coffee were equally soluble. Repeated extractions yielded similar results in TDS.
Per Mr. Morales’ earlier statement, this coffee is indeed a town hero. Find yourself in a food coma after a particularly heavy lunch? Gedeb to the rescue. The bright and juicy liveliness is sure to pick you up, and quizzical herbal aftertastes will keep you coming back for sips.
As an espresso, this coffee is incredibly intense. While I can’t recommend it for just anyone, those of you who enjoy thoroughly bright coffees will certainly enjoy this one. My best extractions resulted from shots pulled at ratios 1:2.5 and above. Look for intense kumquat, super grapefruit, and herbal characteristics. For the faint of heart, try diluting it in water as with an Americano.
This coffee is available in full size bags as well. Contact Us to find out more.