Natural, dry-process, cherry-dried – however you prefer to talk about this style of ‘zero-process’ coffee production, it all comes back to Ethiopia. While farmers across the globe still practice this method of letting the coffee cherries dry like raisins around the seed, it all started in Ethiopia. It’s still common to see smallholder farmers drying their daily harvest on their porches or lawns across the country. Unlike much of the rest of the world, many of these farmers will then roast and grind their own harvest – Ethiopia is the world’s only coffee producing country whose volume of consumption equals its export.
Table-dried natural coffees, like this one, often exhibit better longevity and cleanliness of flavor than patio-dried counterparts. Bedhatu Jibicho’s natural coffee mirrors its washed companion lot in its moderately high (but not excessive) density, though it is a tad wetter and much smaller in screen size, stunningly nearly 50% below screen 15.
Patience is the key to roasting this natural processed coffee that is unusually small in screen size and fairly dense. Usually, I am able to smell aromatics in the trier just seconds after first crack, However, with this coffee, I did not smell many aromatics in the trier until 410 °F. This caught me off guard, and my post crack development time ended up being longer than I had originally planned as a result. Now that I was armed with this knowledge, I decided to push my second roast, PR-375, a little faster in order to reduce that time. Again, I did not smell any aromatics for +10 °F after first crack. On the cupping table, PR-374, tasted brighter and vibrant with notes like, strawberries and rainbow sherbet. It also surprisingly color tracked much lighter than the shorter roast, PR-375. I suggest taking your time, and allow these small seeds to develop just slightly slower than you would normally roast an Ethiopian coffee to taste all that they have to offer.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks here at the Crown. We’ve been hosting a number of events locally and in Los Angeles, and Bonavita was kind enough to lend us a couple of their lovely automated brewers for one of these, which have been a real game-changer when it comes to quickly brewing and analyzing coffee while multitasking. Bedhatu Jibicho’s natural coffee brewed nicely in these round, flat-bottom filter baskets. I tended to favor the brighter roast of the two, while the rest of the group found the viscous and wine-like option.