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Flavor Profile Orange blossom, honeydew, peach, floral, cocoa powder

Check out our Guide to Ethiopian Coffee Grades

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This is a traditional natural coffee from Gedeb, Ethiopia, grown by smallholders organized around METAD’s Chelbesa washing station. 

The flavor profile is bold and aromatic, with strong blackberry and dark chocolate notes leading to more complex and subtle flavors like watermelon and guava. 

Our roasters found that, like many naturals, it has a tendency to take off in later roasting stages and caution against overly-hot charge temperatures. 

When brewed on multiple devices at varying types of infusing and immersion our barista team had a hard time choosing a favorite! 

Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman 

Our first natural Ethiopia of the arrival season finally graces the Crown Jewel menu. This Chelbesa is like an old friend, no stranger to the halls of The Crown. This season’s harvest is one of the best in recent memory, though frankly it’s unsurprising that the folks at METAD have procured and processed yet another spectacular offering. 

Doris’ early trial roasts offered up huge aromatics, with deep dark chocolate tones and comforting tiramisu flavors – it’s a coffee drinker’s coffee. The natural processing is present without being overwhelming, in the form of sweet blackberry jam and strawberry compote, with some nice citric support in the form of slightly tart fresh lemonade. I noted a hint of sweet basil as well, while others tasted lemongrass. 

We’ve queued the coffee up for espresso service here at The Crown, its effortless balance between sweet and tart, fresh and preserved fruits makes it an ideal candidate for pressurized extraction and pairing with steamed milk. 

Source Analysis by Mayra Orellana-Powell  

This coffee is sourced from METAD Agricultural Development PLC (METAD). METAD is a third generation family owned business with a rich history that began after World War II when the Ethiopian Emperor awarded Muluemebet Emiru, the first African female pilot and family matriarch, with land in the Guji and Sidama zones that has become the Hambela Coffee Estate.  

METAD is managed by Aman Adinew who returned to Ethiopia after many years working abroad at the executive level for multiple fortune 500 companies because he wanted to make a difference for his family and community. Through Aman’s leadership, METAD has strengthened the local community with employment opportunities including a workforce that is over seventy percent women, educational opportunities including sponsorship for a state-of-the-art elementary school with more than four hundred students, and healthcare for employees.  

METAD was also first to partner with Grounds for Health in Ethiopia to implement a successful cervical cancer screening program for women within the coffee growing communities. METAD provides technical assistance and shares modern farming equipment with other local farmers.  METAD also has the first and only private state-of-the-art SCAA certified coffee quality control lab on the African continent used to train both domestic and international coffee professionals.  

Green Analysis by Chris Kornman 

While not surprising, it’s still remarkable that coffee can be this well-graded. Ethiopian naturals were until very recently only able to achieve Grade 3 status under the country’s classification system. Now, however, we see Natural Grade 1 arrivals from some of our favorite supply partners, including this lot from the Chelbesa location within METAD’s network. 

This selection is immediately fragrant, like dried cherries. The beans are very small but tightly distributed and possess the expected “higher than average” density readings. Moisture is low and stable, as is the water activity. You should expect this coffee to require a little push in early roasting stages, and to age well on the shelf in good storage conditions. 

While there are certainly true heirloom coffees grown in much of Ethiopia, it’s also true that a relatively small number of highly controlled cultivars — both lab-crafted hybrids and selected landraces — are often the main components of specialty coffees throughout the nation. The selections have not been denoted here for us, but it’s fair to assume they are similar stock to the greater southern coffee regions, hardy and well adapted for cultivation in this, one of the world’s most coveted terroirs.

Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Doris Garrido 

Getting the tastiest natural coffees this year has not been as easy as other years, we take in mind that this is an agricultural product plus there is a lot going on worldwide and in this industry coffee producers’ countries are having the roughest part.  

Here at Royal, we get to taste coffees as soon as they land, and as for this particular coffee from the Chelbesa region in Ethiopia we knew right away that it would make it into the crown jewel program. Here are the coffee notes from my trial roast on a 5.5 lb batch made on the 5k Diedrich, I have collected after cupping:  Bold (2) strawberry (2) basil, berries like, big aroma, bittersweet chocolate, blackberry jam, candy, chamomile, clean, conforty, lemon, lemon rind, lemongrass, long aftertaste, mild acidity, milk chocolate, slightly delicate, slightly tart, tiramisu, zingy. 

It came out clean, and sweet, and besides all the tasty notes it got, we tasted the long development and the 9:21 minutes roast on the mouth feel. As you can see, two people mark it as bold, which is not bad at all. But I consider this roast on the lighter side (62.12 whole and 52.57 ground reading on the ColorTrack) and of course that perception is relative, but I want to say that this coffee can benefit from a slightly faster Maillard to make a lighter roast. Now I will explain what I did for this trial roast.  

To start I take in mind that this is a dense coffee 740 grams per liter, 10.4% moisture content small size bean and particularly important: is a natural process coffee.  

 I started with a charge temperature of 425 F / 85% gas. That was my mild approach. I hesitated on the gas at the beginning, but I went 100% right away to help the turning point going through the drying phase and then lowered it to 30% at 3 minutes of the roast. With that energy I was able to get at first crack with more than enough power. Finally, I had to kill the burners a minute after first crack, because as I have said, got more than enough power and that accelerates the roast, something that happens usually with natural coffee’s as they lose all the moisture around first crack. the tendency is to fly quick, and that depends of course on how you started the roast and other variables but in general it will happen, and I would say keep an eye on the temperature and rate of rise mostly at this part, and as soon as you catch temperature going up, “drop it like is hot” (I mean the temperature). About the airflow, I did what we call basic and necessary to end with a clean cup: 50% at 360 F and 100% at first crack, and it worked, this coffee ended with a clean cup.  

Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman 

Unless otherwise noted, we use both the site and Artisan software to document our roasts on the Bullet. You can find our roast documentation below, by searching on, or by clicking on the Artisan links below.  

Generally, we have good results starting our 500g roasts with 428F preheating, P6 power, F2 fan, and d6 drum speed. Take a look at our roast profiles below, as they are constantly changing! 

Somehow, Ethiopian coffees just work in roasters. I try not to succumb to believing that inanimate objects have some predilection to behave one way or another, or to make sweeping generalizations, but then why are Ethiopian coffees just so nice to roast!? This particular mark was my absolute favorite Ethiopian coffee of last year, and I was really looking forward to roasting it this time around as well.  

For this roast, I wanted to achieve balanced, juicy fruit acidity with deep sugars and cooked fruit notes. If there’s anything that reminds me of fall in the Pacific Northwest, it’s blackberry bars. Could I tease that note out of this coffee? Let’s find out.  

I started with a high charge temperature of 455F, P8 power, and the usual F2 fan and d6 drum speed. I kept the parameters there until a bit after RoR peaked at 38F/min, a bit outside of my comfort zone. I then swept from P7 and F3 to P6 and F4 at yellowing, and maintained that trajectory until 6:15 / 360F where I increased fan speed to F5, then again to F6 at 8:10 / 380F, just before First Crack. To finish off the roast, I reduced power to P5, and increased fan to F7 to really pull any smoke from the drum. This coffee performed beautifully, following a downward trend in RoR the entire time, though I may use a lower charge temperature for future roasts.  

In the cup, this coffee had oodles of sugar, thick strawberry compote sweetness (no blackberry, drats!), and an interesting freeze dried blueberry note that just kept increasing in intensity as the cup cooled. There was definitely a sweet spot when this coffee was still warm, as a touch of tobacco came through in the finish when the coffee had cooled to near room temperature. This coffee will be great for simply any preparation method, but I am fantasizing about a 1:1.5 ratio espresso, followed by a cappuccino with the same. Fresh Ethiopian coffee is here, and Chelbesa takes the cake again! 

Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Isabella Vitaliano 

 Our current Ikawa practice compares two sample roast profiles, originally designed for different densities of green coffee. The two roasts differ slightly in total length, charge temperature, and time spent between color change in first crack. You can learn more about the profiles here. 

 Ethiopian season as arrived, and it has brought a great round of fresh crop here at The Crown. I must say this Chelbesa has really taken to shining on one of the roasts. First up Chris and I had our HD roast, and the cup showed off a flavor bomb of what this coffee is capable of. With some strawberry juice, berry, concord, raw sugar and raspberry it’s going to be hard to top this berry bomb. And alas, the LD roast was unable to match with flavors falling towards under ripe berry with mild washed-out notes. The clear recommendation here is our HD roast. With those fast and high temps bringing out some wonderful attributes. You won’t be disappointed with this sample roast profile.  

 You can roast your own by linking to our profiles in the Ikawa Pro app here:
Roast 1: Low Density Sample Roast
Roast 2: High Density Sample Roast   

Brew Analysis by Katie Briggs 

An exciting day here at the Crown as we get to brew up this beautiful Ethiopian Chelbesa natural processed coffee! We haven’t seen many natural coffees in the Tasting Room in the last couple of months, so we were very excited to get to brew this coffee up and see what wild fruity flavors we could unlock. We did a couple different brews on very different devices to really push this coffee to its potential and got some super tasty results! 

We started with a Beehouse brew device, which is a hybrid cone/flat bottom brewer. We decided on a standard 19g dose with the grind at 8 on the EK43 grinder. We started with a 50g pour to begin our bloom and let that stand for 40s. Then, another 150g dose of water to bring us to 200g, and finish with another 100g dose for a final volume of 300g. That gave us a total brew time of 3:45. This brew gave us some delicious notes of light watermelon, pear, ginger root, and lemon. It was bright and sweet, but still had a bit of an interesting spice! 

We wanted to see how this coffee would perform on an immersion brewer, so we upped the dose to 20g for a bit up a bolder brew and used the Clever immersion brewer to see what other funky flavors we could pull out of this coffee. We started again with a 50g pour at 40s for our bloom, then poured up to the 300g to let sit until about the 3:00 mark, then released the brew for a total 4:45 brew time. Our theory was correct, and this brew was a bit bolder with notes of dark chocolate, blackberry, guava, and black tea.  

Our last brew we wanted to do on the V60 cone brewer with a slightly lower dose of 18g to bring out a bit more of the soft fruity notes of this natural coffee. This time we started with a 45g pour at 40s to bloom. Then another 150g, and 100g to bring us to the 300g final volume of water. The final brew time was about 3:50 and gave us a great mix of bold dark chocolate, bright lemongrass, a hint of Campari, and juicy raspberry. 

All in all, this is a delicious coffee! We couldn’t decide on a favorite brew. Whatever way you decide to brew this coffee you will end up with a consistently fruity, interesting and complex cup. Keep an eye out for this amazing Ethiopian Natural coffee on the espresso bar here at the Tasting Room! We are super excited to get to play around with it and see how it performs as an espresso and to see how it will taste with all our delicious milk drinks that we are offering this fall season!