This is a traditional natural coffee from Gedeb, Ethiopia, produced by Addisu Kidane in association with the Halo Bariti Cooperative.
The flavor profile is big and complex, with flavors ranging from peach to Pinot Noir and black tea to blackberry and peppermint.
Our roasters found the coffee to behave predictably in the roaster, though small differences at the very end of the profile seem to make big differences in the cup.
When brewed, our barista team enjoyed quicker drip drawdowns, and as espresso found the coffee (uniquely similarly as in the roaster) to be strongly impacted by small differences in the final seconds of extraction.
Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman
Ready to get comfortable with a little chaos? This coffee rips out of the gates with distinctive peach and plum notes, but don’t be fooled by the deceptively easy-going fruits you catch at first. The flavor profile makes a hard left at watermelon and dives into fudgy depths, coastal Pinot-Noir-like acidity, a smattering of tea (and tea-adjacent – I see you rooibos) flavors, and a wide scattering of lightly macerated berries. There are some fresh herbs, maybe peppermint and sage, a drop or two of wildflower honey, and someone even noted Jujube red date.
We’re currently dialing this coffee for espresso service at The Crown, and I have a feeling it’s going to blow a few folks’ minds. Our early trials are showing a berry and grape-forward flavor profile that toes the line of booziness, and the finish really hammers home the herbal side. I’m looking forward to honing our roast and brew recipes and getting a little weird with it here on the bar.
Source Analysis by Mayra Orellana-Powell
The creation of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) in 2008 significantly limited farm-level traceability. In a noble effort to reduce nepotism and fraudulent marketing by bad actors in the chain, both of which directly hurt farmers’ chances in the market, the Exchange instituted a nationalized system of purely empirical quality analysis. This was achieved by anonymizing coffee deliveries to government-run sensory analysis hubs throughout the country, in which samples would be cupped and the entire lot would then be profiled by region and grade only, for internal auction to exporters. Where all of this backfired was in relationship markets: longtime microlot buyers like Royal could risk losing access to very established producer partnerships; and enterprising coops, unable to show their coffees intimately to buyers, found it more difficult to find their coffees a consistent home for the highest value.
In response, Royal, with support from select cooperatives, led the formation of the Single Farmer Lots Program, in order to break off single farmer lots from the larger cooperative blends sold through the ECX, taking custody of these precious coffees through a direct sale. The program is a unique micro-channel of almost unprecedented specificity in coffee supply from Ethiopia. Farmers with the drive and means to sell direct are supported by Royal, and in turn, our most enthusiastic buyers of Ethiopia coffee have access to a portfolio of single-farm lots, un-diluted by the typical cooperative- and exporter-level consolidations. The Single Farmer Lots Program represents a very sweet end to a chaotic recent chapter in Ethiopia’s coffee history, and we think it’s a model for what ought to be a generation of start-up relationship farming in Ethiopia’s world-famous southern zones.
Annual farm visits from Royal CEO Max Nicholas-Fulmer and regular communication with farmers through Haile Andualem, Royal’s representative on the ground in Ethiopia, has been an essential component for ensuring that farmers and washing stations are following strict farm management and post-harvest protocols. The results have been increasing cup quality and higher returns for the individual producers that Royal has come to count on for great coffee year after year.
Returning to Royal with another amazing harvest, Addisu Kidane cultivated this single farmer lot on his 39-acre farm near the town of Halo Bariti located in the heart of the coveted Gedeo Zone—the narrow section of plateau dense with savvy farmers whose coffee is known as “Yirgacheffe”. Addisu has been cultivating coffee since he was a child helping his father, and took over operations of the family farm after his father passed away in 2002. With the help of the Single Farmer Lots Program he has been able to sell his coffee as a micro-lot in recent years. Coffee is Addisu’s main source of income to support his wife and their 8 children (6 girls and 2 boys). Addisu takes his harvested cherries to the Halo Bariti cooperative, where he is a member, for processing. There, ripe cherries for this natural processed coffee are carefully hand sorted and floated to remove less dense coffee beans. Next the cherries are dried on raised beds for 15 to 20 days and turned regularly to avoid over-fermentation and mold. At Halo Bariti, raised beds are carefully constructed to ensure proper air circulation and temperature control, for optimal drying. Cherries are covered during the afternoons to prevent harsh drying in the intense sun. Once the cherries reach the necessary 11 percent moisture, they are transported to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to be milled and prepared for export through the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (YCFCU), of which the Halo Bariti cooperative is a member.
Mr. Kidane envisions a future processing station, and personal dry mill, of his own on his land. We admire the ambition and are devoted to programs like this one that allow farmers like him to achieve maximum value for what they do.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
Before tossing this coffee in our roaster this week, Doris Garrido measured the green metrics. We began a quick strategy session before taking the coffee on its maiden voyage. I hedged my bets, “Let me guess: high density, low moisture, small screen size?” Doris nodded her head.
There are few surprises here for the student of high grade Ethiopian coffee. The coffee should last well as green under stable environmental storage conditions and tick all the usual marks in the roaster: early resistance to heat, potential for late stage heat delta surge, and may benefit from a slight stretch to the Maillard Reaction, etc.
Loring S15 Falcon Analysis by Chris Kornman and Doris Garrido
Doris & I worked last week on a 5.5lb roast profile on the 15kg Loring using a number of Colombian coffees of various processing methods. Our results were really pleasing, and we decided to try and roast this delightful natural coffee from Addisu Kidane against that baseline. By the time we’d begun analysis on the coffee we’d already tasted it a number of times as a sample roast; this would be our chance to dial it in for espresso service, its eventual destination here at The Crown.
Doris took the controls and manually charged the drum at just under 370F, waiting until the turning point to add heat. The coffee dipped a little lower than the profile we’d saved, and to compensate for this Doris added a little extra 10% burner power to the initial setting.
Otherwise, the coffee was very well behaved in the roaster. As the Maillard phase began to draw to a close, incremental burner reductions brought us eventually down to the minimum 20% setting, just before first crack. The anticipatory gas adjustments paid dividends, as our low heat delta remained very steady and the coffee progressed predictably. Doris dropped the batch at the profile’s intended end temperature of 407F, yielding about 75 seconds of development. At a 54 internal ColorTrack, the coffee is a little lighter than our usual espresso profile, and our next steps for this coffee when it officially enters production (aside from scaling up to a larger roast batch) will be to extend the post crack development by another 15-20 seconds, ideally without raising the end temperature, in order to achieve a slightly more developed roast for bar service.
That said, the coffee cupped admirably. I found the profile vibrant, bright, and clean, with a lot of bold fruit character: black cherry and boysenberry met plum and currant, maybe a dash of sweet melon, and a refreshing fresh peppermint leaf note that delicately lilted in the backdrop. I’m really looking forward to dialing this roast in for espresso service, I feel like it’s going to be a refreshingly easy coffee to work with.
Bullet R1 IBTS
Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman
These are only my second and third roasts on the Bullet! As I get used to working on this machine, you’ll see my parameters and suggested approach change. Consider the analysis below as a decent exploration of trial and error, but not the end all be all of roasting on the Bullet. More to come!
For these roasts, I started with 250g of coffee, varied charge temperature, and F5 fan. My starting heat application was also different between roasts, and I also played with drum speed. I really got into the weeds with these roasts!
Seeing Addisu Kidane’s coffee come in is always a thrill – especially since his coffee tends to come in later than most, signaling the end of Ethiopia season. Saving the best for last, these coffees are always stellar. I wanted the best for his coffees, but my relative inexperience with the Bullet held me back a bit, at least in my eyes.
My first roast started with P6 heat application, F1 fan speed, and a high charge temperature of 392F. I decided to slow the drum down on this roast a bit as well, and chose D5. This roast really took off in the beginning, with some very high numbers for delta. My turning point didn’t get below 200F, so I think I may have taken this one a little on the hot side. A little after turning point, I increased fan speed to F3, then ramped up to F4, then dropped heat application to P5 after reaching yellowing. This, I believe, is where I should have stopped messing with my parameters. Rate of rise began to crash, and I toyed around with the fan repeatedly, only leading to a very delayed first crack. I was able to reach 9% post crack development and an end temperature of 397.4F before completely bottoming out, but not without a really heavy flick in the rate of rise, something I’m not used to seeing in my Quest M3s roasts. Note to self: F7 is a really, really high fan speed for a 250g roast! 52% of time in Maillard? That’s wacky.
For my second roast, I told myself to chill out in more ways than one. I used a lower charge temperature of 383F, a slightly faster drum speed of D6, P4 heat application, and F5 fan speed to start. My turning point dipped below 200F, which was good, and I was able to keep my rate of rise from skyrocketing too much. At turning point, I increased heat application to P7, and reduced fan speed to F2. At yellowing, I began to ramp up my fan speed, and ramp down my heat application. My only qualm with this roast was introducing fan speed to F7 near the end, where I should have kept fan speed at F5 or below. This move led to a real crash, and a final temperature of only 389.5F.
In the cup, some very obvious flaws in my roasts became apparent. The first roast moved very fast through green/drying stage, and had a huge flick in rate of rise at the end. The result was some very clearly scorched flavors, even though the roast as a whole was a bit underdeveloped. Watch those fan speeds and charge temperatures!
My second roast was far more palatable, but still underdeveloped. I am thinking that drum speed 5 is a bit slow for a batch of this size, and D6 was much more fitting. Further, holding off on high fan speeds, and not backing off at the end of roast was helpful in providing a continuous decrease in delta throughout the roast. My roast loss here was a scant 11%, but development was split fairly evenly between 41% green/drying, 45% Maillard, and 13% post-crack development
Confidential to Addisu: Please accept my apologies in not knocking these roasts out of the park. I will keep a cooler head, a cooler drum, and a steadier hand on the airflow application in future roasts!
Once you have a good roast of this coffee under your belt, look for fresh blueberry, apple butter, and grape jelly sweetness. This coffee is delectable, and once you have it dialed in, very rewarding.
Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Doris Garrido
For this ikawa roast analysis, I get to use Chris Korman’s new experimental profile, “Crown exhaust SR1.4”. We wanted to observe how roasting with inlet temperature profile would work in the creation of a curve. So far, this profile develops a cup with thin body and some underdevelopment flavors, although this Ethiopia Adisu Kidane is showing itself as superior quality coffee. This means that even in the above scenario we were able to taste berry notes, and some sweetness. I think that this new profile could use some tweaks, and then we’ll get better results.
After tasting all four different profiles, I found that the Crown Standard gives this coffee the silkiest body, showing sweet cherry flavors, and some strawberry marmalade. On the other hand, the low airflow profile brings ripe berry notes, blackberry, tart acidity, and a nice, sweet finish. After reading the curves, I feel that Addisu Kidane’s coffee might prefer a balance between drying and Maillard phase. Low air flow brings the best berry notes in this natural process Ethiopia.
Brew Analysis by Zainab Syed
This Crown Jewel from producer Addisu Kidane is a bright and delicate coffee. It has the general sweet-tartness of a natural processed coffee, layered with some distinct tea and fruit notes.
The team appreciated all the different brews that we tasted, with my personal favorite being on the Saint Anthony Industries’ C70. I brewed this coffee on the C70 a couple of times, discovering that it does better with a faster brew time. The faster brew still had all the wonderfully bright fruit notes of grape, nectarine and peach, while also bringing out much more of the sweetness with notes of sweet cream, toffee, sugar and wildflower honey. We liked that it preserved the flavors we enjoyed so much, and it delivered a delicate acidity that didn’t take over the sweetness of the cup. The Bee House dripper made for a brew with notes of rooibos and black tea and an incredible, lingering finish with a strong peach note.
This coffee brings about something special however you choose to brew it. We are looking forward to serving it in the Tasting Room at The Crown in the weeks to come!