Introduction by Chris Kornman
And so we return to yet another spectacular jewel from Arabica’s homeland. This coffee comes to us from a small town called Dumerso, just around the bend from Yirgacheffe. Not to be confused with the cooperative of the same name (also producing spectacular coffee) this lot is from a private mill owned by Surafel Birhanu and his family.
Dumerso and neighboring Yirgacheffe both fall within the greater Gedeo region, which receives its name from the local ethnic majority. The area 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.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
Small in size but tightly distributed, this is a fresh clean green coffee with slightly low moisture figures and a typically high density for Ethiopia.
Roast Analysis by Chris Kornman
Two roasting approaches below started similarly but ended radically different. During my first roast (PR-0285, gray below) I backed off a little prior to first crack, thinking I’d built up enough heat in the roaster, but stalled a little and had to make a last second adjustment back up in gas. The coffee dropped somewhat light and cupped with plenty of complexity, sweetness, and body. It’s possible a more aggressive approach prior to crack and less stalling could create a more fruit-forward and acidic coffee, though this might also diminish the mouthfeel somewhat.
Attempting to compensate for my mistake on PR-0285, I charged with a higher flame on the second try (PR-0286, red below) and kept the pressure on throughout the roast with incremental gas adjustments all the way through first crack. An attempt to slow the momentum I’d built up proved too little too late and I dropped a fairly dark roast that had significant roast influence. While the coffee exhibited sweetness, the more fragile, fleeting flavors had been masked and I might recommend a more gentle, nuanced (and generally longer) approach than mine for those wishing to take this coffee to a darker level.
Brew Analysis by Evan Gilman
The two roasts of this outstanding lot of Ethiopian coffee couldn’t have been more different. In order to make the best out of the two of them, I brewed them a few times through Chemex. My first brew treated the two roasts (PR-285 and PR-286) exactly the same: I used 35g coffee, a 1:16 coffee to water ratio, and the “9” grind setting on a Mahlkonig EK43. As you can see from the two extractions listed below, despite my pours being nearly identical, the two roasts performed quite differently (just as expected).
Both extractions were perfectly acceptable in terms of flavor, and recommended extraction parameters prescribed by the SCAA, though the darker roast was more soluble. Nearly everyone preferred the lighter roast (PR-285), but PR-286 was not without its merits. Heavy berry and gentle nuanced herbals graced the darker roast, and pushed me firmly in the direction of the espresso machine. The lighter roast’s tart citrus notes, watermelon crispness, and chocolatey finish were fine for drip, but I had the idea PR-286 would perform well under pressure.
Testing my intuition, I pulled this espresso a number of times. My best three extractions are listed below.
As you can see, I had some varied results. Some shots yielded more balanced flavors while others were very acid-forward. I personally tended to prefer shots that had durations below 25 seconds (that is to say, a relatively short brewing time for espresso). Some of my coworkers preferred the round, tart shots that longer brew times provided.
This was not the easiest coffee to work with, but I found my personal sweet spot: a square 1:2 ratio shot brewed into 75mL of hot water. Sometimes an intense coffee just needs a little dilution to open right up.
This coffee is available in full size bags as well. Contact Us to find out more.