Introduction by Chris Kornman
Single-farmer dry processed coffees from Ethiopian cooperatives, made available to us by special agreement with the YCFCU (Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union), are back for the season, and we’re thrilled to release coffee from Bedhatu Jibicho again this year as a Crown Jewel. 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, Ms. 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 Ms. 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 selection from Bedhatu Jibicho 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.
Drying coffee in the cherry, as Bedhatu Jibicho has done, is the original tradition in Ethiopia. Natural or dry-process, fruit-dried or cherry-dried – however you prefer to talk about this style of ‘zero-process’ coffee post-harvest production, it all comes back to Ethiopia. While farmers across the globe still practice this method of letting the coffee fruit dry like raisins around the seed, it all started in here. 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.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
This coffee is pretty small in screen size; more than a third of the green slips past the 15 screen. Despite this, its density is not as high as we’ve seen from other Ethiopian coffees this season, though it does show off an expectedly dry moisture content and low water activity reading.
Drier-than-usual coffee from Ethiopia is the norm this season, and could very likely be climate related. Ethiopian highlands are emerging from the midst of a significant drought that began in 2015, compounded by an unusual frost this past winter in some microclimates. Droughts are becoming more severe and more frequent in Africa’s horn. Compound this with political unrest that damaged or destroyed a number of coffee washing stations last year in Southern Ethiopia, and there’s a real possibility we might never see more and better coffee from these regions than we do now.
Roast Analysis by Jen Apodaca
I have roasted this coffee for several years now and it has become an old friend of mine. Bedhatu Jibicho always produces the sweetest coffee and this year is no different. My first roast was a quick profile that helps me see how the coffee reacts in the drum. This coffee has a late first crack and due to the low moisture content and dense nature of the coffee, we saw a high rate of rise after first crack.
The second roast was a darker version of the same coffee. I extended the overall roast time by 1.5 minutes while leaving the end temperature the same. This roast had a lot of chocolate and blackberry in the cup and would make an amazing cappuccino in my opinion.
Roast one: Blackberry, strawberry, marshmallow, lime
Roast two: Blackberry, grape, raisin, fudge, tobacco
Behmor Analysis by Evan Gilman
Unless otherwise noted, I follow a set standard of operations for all my Behmor roasts. Generally, I’ll use the 1lb setting, manual mode (P5), full power, and high drum speed until crack. Read my original post and stats here.
Despite getting plenty of practice in with natural coffees over the past few weeks, this one slipped out of my grasp a bit! In retrospect, I could have dialed back the heat a bit sooner. This coffee had plenty of momentum going through first crack. This coffee started off relatively dry, so my weight loss percentage of 12.8% means I lost a bit more mass. Make sure to take it easy on this coffee!
The results weren’t altogether bad, however. The cupping table saw plenty of strawberry, raspberry, and various fruity notes still present. The roast was apparent, but not overwhelming, and it tasted fine as a pourover drip coffee. As natural coffees continue to come in, I will certainly look back on my notes for this one so that I can get a good idea for my upper limits of tolerance.
Brew Analysis by Evan Gilman
As you can see below, this coffee poured through more quickly as a Behmor roast. I have an inkling that this is because of the longer amount of time coffee spends in the Behmor roaster, possibly causing it to become harder and more brittle. I found the same result with CJ1150, but this faster brew time did not seem to have a negative effect on the flavor of the coffee. To the contrary, we enjoyed this roast significantly more on the cupping table and in the Chemex.
This roast had bright berry notes including strawberry, cranberry, and blueberry. A bit of herbal and floral came through as well: juniper, lavender, and cocktail bitters. On the Probatino roast, we got a few more textural notes: fudge, red wine, and yogurt. Depending on what you’re looking for, this coffee could be very nice as a darker roast as well as on the lighter side. If you’re running small batches, this is a great coffee to experiment with.
This coffee may be available in full size bags as well. Contact Us to find out more.