Introduction by Chris Kornman
We featured coffee from Bedhatu Jibicho a few weeks ago, and this natural process coffee is a great followup and companion piece to the washed coffee we offered recently. Bedhatu Jibicho is a coffee farmer, and a native to the Worka region of Gedeb. At over 80 years old, she might be the most experienced farmer we work with, having co-managed (with her late husband) the 23-hectare plot of government-allotted farmland since the 1960s. Her family continues to work the farm, especially aided recently by her son Tesfaye Roba. They have plans to use the premiums for their harvest to expand the farm and startup an export business.
Originally part of the Worka cooperative, Mrs. Jibicho joined the Banko Gotiti cooperative when it opened in 2013. Though much smaller, Banko Gotiti was much closer to her farm. That same year, her farm was recognized as a community model, and she took specialty coffee preparation training which enabled her harvest to be separated and sold traceably through the YCFCU (the umbrella Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union covering coops in the Gedeo Zone). Royal is a loyal buyer of Mrs. Jibicho’s coffees, and we’re especially proud to bring this storied and spectacular coffee to the roasting market.
While not unheard of, it’s exceedingly uncommon to find a single-farmer lot from Ethiopia. This remarkably clean natural coffee offers an unique opportunity to taste the very specific terroir of this farm, in this tiny border-region of Southern Ethiopia, the homeland of Arabica. Gedeb is a woreda (district / city) located close to the Yirgacheffe woreda; both are situated in the narrow band of the Gedeo Zone that is straddled by Sidama and Oromia.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
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.
Roast Analysis by Jen Apodaca
There have been a few cropster hiccups this week and in the graph below, you will notice that PR-374 started recording 9 seconds before the coffee actually dropped into the drum. In the table below, I have adjusted the times so that they are the true roasting times, but unfortunately, I cannot fix the graph.
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 sherbert. 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.
Brew Analysis by Chris Kornman
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.