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intro

Additions to the summer menu of washed coffees from Ethiopia are coming in quickly, and we continue to be impressed by the landed quality and happy to see the return of old friends, like this Worka coffee from Mijane Woresa and his son Daniel Mijane, who own and operate two washing stations in Gedeb. We’re releasing both as limited selections of Crown Jewels this week, as they highlight some really interesting differences in flavor profile despite their proximity.

This coffee comes from Halo Hartume, a washing station named for its kebele, or neighborhood within the Gedeb woreda or district of the Gedeo zone, wherein lies the famous Yirgacheffe town which often acts as a proxy for the regional name. The microregion is rich with coffee, and this selection was grown by smallholder farmers living in the area who then contributed either to a collection point or directly to the washing station. Before the rules changed last season, coffees from this region largely went through the ECX, but Mijane Woresa established an export company in 2017 and now his son Daniel sells his coffee direct to Royal.

This lot is an excellent example of a classic floral southern Ethiopia. Jasmine, Chamomile, and Lavender top the list of delicate floral notes, each underscored by sweet and juicy stone fruit flavors of apricot, peach, and nectarine. It’s an instant hit, and will serve you well whether you’re in the mood for a pour over, espresso, or even served chilled over ice.

green

Dense, dry, and small in screen size with a low water activity, not many surprises here. This is a very classically graded and prepared southern Ethiopian selection, set to age well as green coffee on the shelf and will likely crave a little extra heat in the roaster as well.

Mr. Mijane has provided three specific cultivars that are being grown, a rare treat for an origin who’s plant types are often summarized generically as “indigenous heirloom varieties,” doing a great disservice to the wide array of genetic variation and significant work steeped in Ethiopia’s forests and mountains.

74110 and 74112 are selections made by the Jimma Agricultural Research Center (JARC) in the 1970s. Both selections were made for Coffee Berry Disease (CBD) resistance, and were chosen from the forests of Metu-Bishari in Illubabor, far to the west of the country, and a little to the north of the forests of Keffa. These two selections were both widely distributed throughout the south of Ethiopia after release; becoming some of the most popular in the country. They are both compact trees which bear relatively small-sized fruit and seeds.

Kurume in Gedeo (or Kudhumi in Guji, alternatively known by innumerable cognates depending on who’s doing the spelling) is a landrace, meaning that it is a regionally selected indigenous tree that grew wild or semi-wild and has been “serendipitously” selected for cultivation. It, too, is a short tree with small-sized fruits. Getu Bekele and Tim Hill (whose reference guide I’ve relied on heavily here) suggest that the similar morphology of Kurume to 74110 and 74112 might warrant classifying them as “Kurume type” plants.

taste

ikawa

We’ve updated our V2 Ikawa Pro machines with the latest Firmware version (24) and run on “closed loop” setting. Our roasters underwent full service in October of 2018 which included replacement heating elements and an updated PT 1000 temperature sensor.

Using the same profile to roast both this Halo Hartume and its companion lot from Worka-Sakaro allowed the team to get a first look at both coffees. I defaulted to my preferred 6-minute high airflow roast. This coffee behaved a little more predictably, reaching first crack about one minute before profile completion, and showcasing tons of floral and stone fruit flavors on the cupping table.

You can download the profile to your Ikawa Pro app here:

Roast 1: RC ckornman 6m afmod dec2018v3

probatino

The Mijane family owns two washing stations, and so we move along to their second station – Halo Hartume, again located in the Gedeb district, home to the more famous town of Yirgacheffe (or Yerga Chefe, as my favorite cab driver keeps correcting me. He should know, it’s where he grew up!).

Most coffee roasters eagerly await coffees from Sidama, and Yirgacheffe in particular, for their unique and exceptional cup characteristics and this coffee is an exemplary example of a classic coffee from this region.

This dense, dry coffee called out to be expressed in a way that showed its natural beauty off to the world – so I decided to acquiesce and give it what it asked for! A high heat dried it quickly and efficiently and used only 34% of the total roast time. Stepping down off of the heat twice; once at the beginning of stage two and once before first crack, gave me ample time in stage two, and just under a minute to reach my desired end temperature of 405 degrees. The higher end temperature worried me a little – even though I had decided to drop it at this point in advance – I didn’t want to eliminate any of the delicious florals.

No worries there, the apricot and jasmine notes were apparent, but violet? I was not expecting that, and it was divine! The coffee was buttery smooth and so sweet, that confectioners sugar was the main note describing that attribute in the cup. We found green grape, lemon and lime, white peach and even hints of freeze-dried strawberries, too. A lighter body than the sister coffee from Worka-Sakaro, I intend to enjoy the Halo Hatume as a flash-brewed long drink to soften these hot afternoons in Oakland.

Quest M3s

Unless otherwise noted, I follow a set standard of operations for all my Quest roasts. Generally, I’ll allow the machine to warm up for 15 minutes until my environmental temperature reading is at least 250F, weigh out 150g batch size, and begin roasting when I’ve reached my desired charge temperature.  Read my initial post here.

As part of our weekly Barista Education Hour, I got to take a crack at roasting some new Crown Jewels on the Quest this week, starting with this coffee. Under Evan’s guidance, my plan was to simply maintain the amperage right around the 9.5 mark and use the fan speed to manipulate the roast as needed. I started the roast just under 400F with the fan at 0 and cruised through the first stage of the roast, adjusting the fan speed to 3 right around the 1:30 mark. Based on its density, we had a hunch this coffee might try to get away from us and take off somewhere along the way, so I turned the fan up to 6 just before 5:00 to try to slow our roll. This may have been to heavy-handed though, as it slowed things down a bit more than we wanted, stretching out the Maillard phase and pushing first crack to 7:25. I finished off the roast with 1:20 development time (15.4%) and a final temperature of 401.5F.

Based on my roast, I was a little concerned that the coffee might have slightly muted acidity, but ought to be plenty sweet regardless. On the cupping table I was relieved to find notes of peach, plum, apple, citrus, and grape accompanied by sweet notes like dark chocolate and brown sugar and a creamy, viscous body. The finish was a little drying and roasty, though, so I would try to shorten the overall roast time if I were to roast this coffee again. Don’t be afraid to let the coffee’s own momentum carry it through the roast! Either way, you’re bound to find a deliciously complex, juicy, and sweet cup of coffee here, so pick some up before it’s all gone!

brew

The delicious coffees just keep rolling in, and this one is no exception! This coffee had such a wide range of flavors on the cupping table – apricot, strawberry, lemon, peach, grape, sugar – so I was fairly certain it would be a pleasure to brew. I decided to take a classic brew approach to this classic Ethiopian coffee, so I dusted off our Kalita and settled on the most common brew ratio we use here at The Crown, 18g of coffee to 300g of water, and a nice middle of the road grind setting. The brew slowed down significantly towards the end, wrapping up right around the 4:30 mark with a TDS of 1.44 and an extraction yield of 22.34%.

I was a little worried that the slow brew may have overextracted this coffee, especially when it clocked in at 22.34%, but the end result was simply delicious. We picked up on notes of lavender, white tea, lime, pink grapefruit, melon, honey, marshmallow, and dark chocolate. I think the longer, gentler extraction allowed the pleasant floral, tea-like flavors to really shine through in the cup. I think this coffee would stand up well to any variety of brew device, from a delicate pour-over to a hearty french press!

Origin Information

Grower
396 producers organized around the Halo Hartume washing station
Variety
Indigenous heirloom cultivars
Region
Halo Hartume kebele, Gedeb woreda, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region, Ethiopia
Harvest
October - January
Altitude
2000 – 2200 masl
Soil
Deep red clay
Process
Fully washed and dried on raised beds
Certifications

Background Details

Halo Hartume is a community near the border between Gedeb and Kochere, two very coffee-famous districts in Ethiopia’s coveted Gedeo ZoneGedeo, named after the Gedeo people indigenous to the area, is a narrow section of highland plateau dense with savvy farmers and fiercely competitive processors whose coffee is known the world over as “Yirgacheffe, after the zone’s most famous district and central town  As a terroir, Yirgacheffe has for decades been considered a benchmark for beauty and complexity in arabica coffeeknown for being beguilingly ornate and jasmine-like when fully washed, and seductively punchy and sweet when sundried--and hardly requires an introduction. This particular coffee from a family-run independent washing station in Halo Hartume, is no exceptionIt’s big and sweet, with layers of grapefruit and lavender-like florality.  The Halo Hartume station was started by Mijane Woresa in 2013. For its first few years the station sold  coffee the way most producers in the area did: through the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX), where government cuppers would grade and position the coffee for sale to exportersIn 2017 Mr. Woresa secured an export license for himselfand, after 30 years of work in coffee, brought his son Daniel aboard, who then started a relationship with Royal. Today, Daniel Mijane runs the majority of day-to-day operations at the family’s two private stations (the other is in Worka Sakaro, in the southeastern corner of Gedeb), as well as the exporting itself, and the coffee has become his namesake.  Halo Hartume’s contributing farmers number almost 400and farm sizes range from 1 to 10 hectaresThe Mijane family’s involvement with farmers begins long before harvest in the form of harvest trainings and the establishment of seasonal collection sites—local delivery points that reduce overland travel for farmers and provide a quality inspection point for the washing station. During harvest season, bulk deliveries come in from the collection sites around 6pm, where Halo Hartume conducts a final inspection for uniform ripeness, foreign matter, and overall quality, before admitting cherry to the evening’s processing.  After depulping, coffee typically ferments for 48 hours, is rinsed, and then skin-dried in the shade until no longer wet to the touch. Once ready to transport, skin-dry parchment is moved to full-time drying beds in the sun where it will be continuously rotated and aerated for one week, and typically covered during the hottest hours of the day, 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., when the intensity of the sun can potentially crack the coffee’s brittle parchment.  Private processors like Halo Hartume are a thing to behold. It’s a tough business being a private processor in Gedeo, as the sheer density of competition among washing stations tends to push cherry prices as high as double throughout a single harvest, and privates often don’t have the backing of a larger union to secure financing, regulate cherry prices, or bring export costs down with centralized milling and marketing. Successful private washing stations like the Mijane family’s, then, need to be not only standout quality processors to stay afloat; they must also be excellent business developers with connections and community standing, in order to continue winning the business of farmers and buyers alike, and stay afloat for the long term.