Introduction by Chris Kornman
Yet another great coffee this season from the Adinew family’s farm in Southern Ethiopia. The Hambela region is home to an estate, washing stations, and collection points 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.
In the field, not only have they established their own harvesting sites, but they have partnered with smallholder associations. They don’t simply buy the coffee cherry from the local farmers, but they provide them with pre- and post-harvest trainings. These trainings include agriculture and business management help, with the intention of reaching beyond simply getting better coffee to create better, mores sustainable communities.
This double-washed Buku is selected from one such smallholder association. The coffee uses a common East African tactic of soaking the parchment coffee in clean water after fermentation. 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.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
Characteristically dry and dense with a small screen size, this double-washed Buku fits the mold of Ethiopian coffees, particularly this season. As we get later into the season, we’re starting to see some more moderate measurements in our Ethiopian coffees, however, the region is still to some degree affected by a drought that began in 2015, compounded by an unusual frost this past winter in some microclimates. Droughts are, unfortunately, 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
Roast one is one of my shortest roasts on record using a strategy that I employ often. Like the Ethiopian Bishan Fugu, this coffee roasted in a similar manner. Perhaps my drum was a little too hot or there was more thermal energy in the machine because this was my fourth roast of the day. This short roast style made for a very floral and citric cup and some slightly herbal and grassy notes were also detected. I have recently become obsessed with lychee sparkling water and really enjoyed the amount of vibrant floral character this coffee had to offer.
In roast two, I planned to stretch out the roast, but may have stretched it out a little too long. The numbers associated with the roast would be considered a quick roast on most production machines that are larger than 10 kilos, but on the 1 kilo probatino they tasted slightly baked and muted. Some very sweet sugar browning notes also showed in the cup like butter and vanilla. The citrus acidity remained but the floral acidity was sacrificed.
If you want to develop sweetness in this coffee without losing the floral character I would suggest extending roast one in the drying stage or maillard stage by 30 seconds to a minute.
Roast one: Rosewater, lychee, marmalade, peach
Roast two: Lemon, blackberry, butter pound cake, royal icing
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.
The Ethiopia Buku Hambela was the rock star of this week’s Behmor roasts. On the cupping table we enthused about the floral notes in this coffee: rose, lavender, violet, and jasmine. Plenty of melon (admittedly my favorite fruit) made itself known, and a clean tart huckleberry note finished everything off nicely.
I did try something different with this roast, and I may attempt to replicate this in the future with dense, dry coffees. Engaging P4 before first crack was a risky proposition for me, though I had a good idea that crack was coming due to small signs from the coffee including slight smoke coming from the roaster and small puffs signaling the impending crack. Turns out, crack came 15 seconds after engaging P4. Lucky me!
One minute and twenty-five seconds after first crack, I finished the roast by removing the drum and cooling manually. I have been using the cooling tray on our sample roaster, but a fan and a sieve would work just as well. This coffee turned out simply delicious, and you can see the stats below.
Brew Analysis by Chris Kornman
Unequivocally a fun coffee to taste & brew, this Buku from Hambela mirrored our cupping preferences when brewed in a Kalita Wave. I ground a little coarser than average and gave a full minute of preinfusion to each brew, pulsing about 50g of water every 20 seconds or so. The three roasts each dripped through at similar rates, but you’ll note below that Jen’s very short roast also had the highest TDS and extraction percentage… and was our favorite tasting brew.
Roast one offered unmatched complexity, concise floral notes like rose and jasmine paired with stone fruit flavors of peach, nectarine and apricot and joined by unique flourishes from tastes of fig, black tea, macadamia, and pomegranate. Roast two felt a bit muddled by comparison, a slight roast note flattened the acidity and gave a stronger lime, grape, and chocolate flavor. The Behmor roast also accented the grape flavors of the coffee, and showcased brighter fruits like cranberry, raspberry, and kiwi.
This coffee may be available in full size bags as well. Contact Us to find out more.