This is a lovely coffee from the borderlands of Southern Ethiopia. Formerly part of the Sidamo region prior to 1995, the Guji zone was created in 2002 after neighboring districts split apart.
This coffee is from the Danbi Uddo neighborhood of Shakiso city, located within the Guji zone of the Oromia region. The 850 or so coffee farmers who contribute coffee to Testi Trading’s washing station grow it on just two to five hectares of land.
The coffee ferments for 36-48 hours with a 12-hour soak, and then spends around 11 days on raised beds drying prior to its long journey to Addis where it is dry milled, graded, and exported.
Another immaculate washed coffee from Ethiopia crosses the grading table. While the green coffee definitely exhibits the typical “longberry” shape seeds of Ethiopia, they appeared a little more rounded to me. Likely nothing more than a curiosity, though it may contribute to this coffee’’s screen size range, which is more tightly distributed than some of the other Ethiopian coffees we’ve looked at recently. With solid density and water numbers, this is a lot that should roast somewhat evenly. As seems to be the trend, the lower moisture and water activity digits combined with relatively high density may require a bit of heat through and after first crack.
In a lot of ways, this Ethiopia responded as I expected in the roaster. I got into a little trouble at the end of the roast. After first crack, this coffee developed color much more quickly than the Konga, and I ended up with a slightly darker than intended roast. While the coffee cupped well, it might have benefited from less time in the roaster after first crack.
For this roast, I decided to play with grind size. Using a Kalita Wave 185, I dosed 25 grams of coffee each for two different brews; one at ‘6’ and one at ‘8’ (both on the EK43). I preferred the coarse grind size, and you can see why down below in my table. The finer ground coffee was clearly overextracted – this is one soluble coffee!
Once again, we found an Ethiopian coffee that would work splendidly as a single origin espresso offering. The Shakiso Danbi Uddo does best above a 1:2 ratio of ground coffee to yielded espresso. Shorter yields brought out some very tart acids, and unpleasant grainy notes (rye and wheat). Big yields brought big rewards: thick florals, bright citrusy acids, and sweet cocoa. Go big or go home!