This coffee is from the Dilla district, not far from Yirgacheffe town, in the Gedeo Zone of Ethiopia. The cooperative is a member of the umbrella Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union, and has a robust membership of over 1900 individuals. Coffee coming from Dama is both Certified Organic and Fair Trade.
Gedeo receives its name from the ethnic majority in the region, and shares a border to the north with the much larger Sidama zone. Within Gedeo, Yirgacheffe is recognized for its high degree of importance to Ethiopia’s coffee production. It’s especially notable that the town of Yirgacheffe was an early adopter of the fully washed method of processing coffee, where the coffee seed is mechanically depulped and then dried on raised beds.
As with many Ethiopian coffees, this lot is dry and has a pretty small screen size. While coffees from this area of the world tend to generally be much higher density than average, this particular lot seems to be an exception, posting fairly pedestrian numbers in that regard.
My first roast (PR-0275, gray below) used a very low gas charge and ramped up gradually into first crack. I let the coffee develop a little longer, and the roast ended up accenting a number of the lovely stone fruit, citrus, and floral notes with some sugar-browning sweetness.
For fun, on my second roast (PR-0276, red below) I was curious what the effect of a very hot charge with similarly low gas setting would produce. I heated the drum up and then dropped the gas immediately as I charged the coffee. A much quicker roast with less frequent and more subtle heat increases ended up somewhat light in color and cupped quite a bit like a sample roast.
In the end, both roasts were well received; the coffee is quite nice and is pliable enough in the roaster to produce some stylistically different but qualitatively similar results.
Some coffees demand you take it slow. This coffee would like you to take your time.
Ethiopian coffees have some common attributes, as you would expect from any given origin. One attribute that has always struck me as being unique is the propensity for Ethiopian coffees to restrict water flow during drip coffee extraction. Whereas a Honduran, Sumatran, or even Kenyan coffee would finish dripping through by three minutes, an Ethiopian coffee might take up to five.
Making pots of this lot was no different in this regard, and coarsening the grind did not make as appreciable of a difference as I would expect. This wasn’t necessarily to the detriment of the finished product; both roasts of this coffee were quite pleasant.
I did prefer PR-276 slightly, so from Chris’ perspective, taking things quickly in the roaster resulted in some very lively notes. For my own part, I didn’t have much of a choice! Take a look at a couple of my brews above.