Ending the 2015-2016 Ethiopian Crown Jewel releases on a classy note, this delight is typically dense with good looking moisture and water activity figures. The majority of the coffee falls between screens 14-16, making consistent, if a bit on the small side. The prep is nice; the lot was exported as a Grade 1.




I made a small change to our typical grind setting, going a little coarser than normal with the expectation that this Hambela, like many of our other Ethiopian Crown Jewels, would be relatively soluble and might benefit from the long contact time with large particles in a Chemex. The resulting brews were a little on the thin side, and while Jen’s first roast, PR-417 performed very well on the cupping table, it tasted a little bitter at 19% extraction. The shorter roast was thin, but pleasantly floral.

Feeling confident I could produce a better brew, I switched to Kalita and knocked out a second try of PR-418 that seemed to agree with everyone’s sensibilities a little more. If you can, keep an eye on your extraction percentage and brew ratio – this coffee, at least in our experience, benefited from a higher % extraction at a lower coffee-to-water ratio. Specs below:

Origin Information

Hambela Estate
Indigenous heirloom cultivars
Guji Zone, Oromia Region, Ethiopia
October - December
1,900 – 2,200 meters
Clay minerals
Fermented underwater for 12-24 hours, washed with clean spring water, soaked for another 12-24 hours, and dried on raised beds

Background Details

This coffee is sourced from METAD Agricultural Development PLC (METAD).  METAD is a third generation family owned business with a rich history that began after World War II when the Ethiopian Emperor awarded Muluemebet Emiru, the first African female pilot and family matriarch, with land in the Guji  and Sidama zones that has become the Hambela Coffee Estate.  METAD is managed by Aman Adinew who returned to Ethiopia after many years working abroad at the executive level for multiple fortune 500 companies because he wanted to make a difference for his family and community.  Through Aman’s leadership, METAD has strengthened the local community with employment opportunities including a workforce that is over seventy percent women, educational opportunities including sponsorship for a state-of-the-art elementary school with more than four hundred students, and healthcare for employees.  METAD was also first to partner with Grounds for Health in Ethiopia to implement a successful cervical cancer screening program for women within the coffee growing communities.  METAD provides technical assistance and shares modern farming equipment with other local farmers.  METAD also has the first and only private state-of-the-art SCAA certified coffee quality control lab on the African continent used to train both domestic and international coffee professionals.