This coffee is from a cooperative towards which Royal has been especially partial, both because of its great story and great coffee.
Founded in the mid 1970’s originally as the “Kelo” cooperative, the membership enjoyed a successful bid in the 2006 Africa Taste of Harvest competition, taking home the prize for top coffee. The success was short lived however, as a few of the members were granted large bank loans in the wake of the winning harvest, on which they defaulted. Left on the line for the debt and with families to feed and coffees yet to harvest, the remaining membership redoubled their efforts and paid down their outstanding debts, rejoining the YCFCU by 2011. As a result of their history, the group remains among the smallest and most tight-knit cooperatives in Yirgacheffe.
Recognizing both the penchant for hard work and the ensuing exceptional coffees, Royal prefinances Adame Garbota each season, and takes first pick of their coffees. We buy the bulk of their harvest every year, and are delighted to offer this excellent coffee to our network of roasters.
A clean and fresh standard longberry type with casually dense and dry physical specs and a very tightly distributed, if a bit small, screen size.
Two fairly similar looking roasts produced coffees with some striking differences on the cupping table. My first roast, PR-0266 (gray) used my standard incremental increases through Maillard, and yielded a viscous, complex cup that had plenty of interesting flavors but lacked the floral component we covet in coffees from Yirgacheffe. I found that boosting the gas about a minute before first crack was enough to keep momentum moving through to the end of the roast without another flame adjustment. Lots of grape and citrus, a little savory herb, and a lush texture were the highlights of this roast.
The second roast (PR-0267, red) used a higher gas but lower drum temperature to charge. The coffee entered Maillard and dove into first crack, when I gave it a little boost. I let it develop a little longer, dropping the coffee at nearly identical temperature but producing a slightly darker roast. This was our preferred coffee on the cupping table, with a slightly more developed sweetness and more apparent floral notes, accented by flavors like sweet melon, lime candy, and coconut. -Chris Kornman