Introduction by Chris Kornman
Banko Gotiti is the name of both the village and the washing station where this coffee was produced. Located close to the border of the Oromia Region, the closest main town is Gedeb, south of Yirgacheffe, in the Gedeo Zone of the Southern Nations Region.
The washing station is owned and operated by METAD Agricultural Development PLC. The family-run company was gifted property by Emperor Selassie in honor of the matriarch, Muluemebet Emiru, the first African female pilot. METAD is now managed by her grandson Aman Adinew, and its export partner Rift Valley Trading LLC is operated by his brother Michael Adinew. Among the many important pieces of work undertaken by METAD are their commitment to equal employment opportunities for women and education opportunities for the youth of the coffeelands, their early partnerships with Grounds for Health, and their development of Africa’s first SCAA certified lab.
Once sold under the Yirgacheffe name, we’ve started to be a little more regionally specific with coffees from this area of the world. While the name Yirgacheffe is easily recognized by coffee buyers – and happens to be associated with some of the first fully washed processing in the world – the town of Gedeb is more specific: it is both the town and the region surrounding the city; like a city plus the suburbs – so you could think of Banko Gotiti, the kebele, as an outlying neighborhood of the Gedeb woreda, all encompassed by the Gedeo Zone.
We often find Gedeb coffees similar in style to Yirgacheffes, but a little bigger, a little bolder, a little less subtle. This exceptional lot fits that mold, offering abundant stone, citrus, and berry fruits layered with plenty of inherent sweetness and that slightly floral, slightly savory je ne sais quoi that makes washed Ethiopian coffees some of the most unique and thrilling in the world.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
Like many of the best washed Ethiopian coffees, this Banko Gotiti has very high density, quite low moisture content and water activity, and smaller than average screen size. Like all exportable lots passing through the country’s coffee exchange, it receives a grade based on its physical characteristics. The lot’s Grade 1 demarcation highlights the precision processing and lack of physical defects.
The washing station employs a secondary underwater soak after fermentation, sometimes referred to as “double washing.” Not only does this help remove any leftover pulp on the seeds, it also triggers the seed to begin germinating and it’s speculated this can improve the flavor.
Roast Analysis by Jen Apodaca
It is not unusual for an Ethiopian coffee to be dense, but the lower moisture content and low water activity had me slightly concerned with how and where I should apply heat. Both roasts were successful and produced the citric and floral notes that you would expect in a nice Ethiopian coffee, but roast two had just a little more pop of acid and florals which took it to the next level. The difference is the overall shorter roast time and the higher charge temperature at the beginning of the roast. After Maillard reactions began, I turned the heat down slightly to allow for more time during this stage. The combination of high density and low moisture could result in internal scorching/burning as the bean rapidly takes on heat, but has little moisture to release. Roast two had a lower charge temperature and additional heat was applied much later in the roast. This approach also allowed me to carefully navigate through the Maillard stage, but increased my overall time in the roaster and muted some, but not all of the acidity.
Roast one: Tangerine, lavender, apricot, juicy, butter cookie
Roast two: Tangerine, lemon curd, jasmine, marshmallow, creamsicle, lavender
Behmor Analysis by Evan Gilman
For the past week, I have been roasting with the Behmor indoors underneath a ventilation hood. If your stove has an effective ventilation hood, I must say that I recommend working indoors with the Behmor since ambient temperature definitely changes the way a roast turns out! Specifically, I have been achieving more development in less time. That is to say, the coffee gets roasted quicker.
To that effect, the Ethiopia Banko Gotiti was a speed demon in the Behmor. After 30 seconds of post-crack development time, this coffee began to race, and by 1:32 it was nearing second crack. I achieved a 70.61 ColorTrack reading as whole bean and 66.52 ground, which is rather dark. Due to its high density and low moisture content, this coffee is a great candidate for reducing power a little before first crack in order to get a more even development. Start with the highest heat profile and taper off at the end.
On the cupping table, this coffee was clearly darker than Jen’s roasts, and displayed many more herbal and caramelized sugar notes. To pull out the floral and malic notes that Chris mentions below, you’ll need to be a bit more gentle with the roasting of this Ethiopian Jewel.
Brew Analysis by Chris Kornman
Making assumptions about the way a coffee is going to behave is risky business. I figured that this Double Washed Banko Gotiti would perform well in a fast-brewing Kalita and would be nicer at lower coffee-to-water ratio. The coffee, like many washed Ethiopian coffees we’ve analyzed, brewed more slowly than average, and while the two roasts brewed markedly differently both yielded very high TDS and extraction percentage in both brews. Sweet and syrupy? Sure. Enjoyable? Absolutely. A great representation of the coffee’s character? Maybe not the best.
I went back, having gathered extraction data and notes from my colleagues, coarsening the grind to hasten the extraction time, switching to Chemex to help mitigate the inconsistencies of the two Kalita brews, and tightening the ratio to reduce the extraction percentage. The two roasts brewed nearly identically this time, and the 21% extraction was a little closer to my target. The coffees were brighter but didn’t lose much in terms of viscosity, and both brews offered a bit more floral and malic fruit notes.
“Assume nothing,” is a popular catch phrase around the office, and apropos to everything from contract negotiations to coffee brewing. Best results for this juicy, bold Ethiopian offering will likely come from a slightly coarser grind than usual… but don’t take my word for it!
This coffee is available in full size bags as well. Contact Us to find out more.