Intro by Chris Kornman & Mayra Orellana-Powell
Interested in a floral coffee? This is an absolute bouquet. Jasmine, honeysuckle, rose, citrus blossom, plus all sorts of other delicious flavors like kumquat, bergamot, peach, and vanilla are here in absolutely elegant balance. In fact, we loved it so much we set aside a bit for espresso service at the Crown, and I think you probably already know that it absolutely slaps.
Yirgacheffe’s famous cup profile may in fact be at least partly attributable to this very mill. Known now as Aricha, the location is in fact one and the same as Misty Valley, possibly one of the most famous pre-ECX coffee brands in the country.
When Ethiopia’s commodity exchange was established in 2008, exporters were forbidden from operating mills and farms. And so Abdullah Bagersh sold Misty Valley and the site became Aricha, simply named for its woreda.
This coffee is sourced from 650 family-owned farms organized around the Aricha coffee mill located in the Yirgacheffe district of the Gedeo Zone within the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State, Ethiopia. The Gedeo region is named after the Gedeo people who are indigenous to this area.
The Aricha mill is owned and operated by Cherab na Betesebu and his family, and the location receives ripe cherries from 650 small coffee farmers. Coffee producers deliver their ripe cherries to the Aricha coffee mill station where the cherries are sorted and then pulped. After pulping, the beans are fermented for 36 to 48 hours and then washed. The wet beans in parchment are placed on raised drying beds in thin layers and turned every 2 to 3 hours during the first few days of the drying process. Depending on weather, the beans are dried for 10 to 12 days until the moisture in the coffee beans is reduced to 11.5 percent. Then the beans are transported to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to be milled and bagged prior to export.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
A by-the-books G1 Ethiopia here, super clean polished green coffee with a small screen size, high density, and low moisture figures. Very standard stuff, very little to worry about. You can push the heat hard early if you like but be prepared to back off later in the roast, as you approach first crack.
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, hearty and well adapted for cultivation in this, one of the world’s most coveted terroirs.
Ikawa Analysis by Chris Kornman
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, and were recalibrated in September 2019.
This delightful washed Yirgacheffe from the Aricha mill, formerly known as Misty Valley, is delicate and floral. It showed surprising range on the three Ikawa profiles, and impressed me with its persistent jasmine and honeysuckle notes and its balance of delicate fruit flavors.
This coffee was made for the SR 1.0 profile (blue), or rather, the profile was made for it! Cracking on target, the Aricha gave off strong floral fragrance and cup character with lots of balance.
The longer Maillard +30 (red) hit the jasmine notes but suffered in balance, with more body than anything else. The coffee roasted nicely to profile, spending the expected amount of time in Maillard… it’s just that it was not my preferred roast of the three.
The seven-minute low airflow profile (yellow) nearly pulled out the win, only dipping 0.25 points under the faster roast, giving off lovely aromas and impressive balance despite its slightly more developed color. A slightly woody finish was the only thing that held it back, otherwise it was lush and juicy.
Roast 1: Crown Standard SR 1.0
Roast 2: Crown Maillard +30 SR 1.0
Roast 3: Crown 7m SR Low AF
Roast Analysis by Candice Madison
There really is nothing better than a classic Yirgacheffe. And by classic, I’m referring to the revered (very probably of Aricha itself) flavor profile of coffees hailing from this famed and storied origin. Indeed the origin of all coffee origins!
Yirgacheffe coffees are known for their clear floral, citrus and stone fruit notes, as well as a particularly light, yet pleasingly elegant body – in their washed form. Here, in this Crown Jewel, we find all of these attributes in a delicious bouquet of jasmine, rose, and honeysuckle, married with refreshing notes of bergamot, Meyer lemon and kumquat amongst the distinct flavors that lend a complex brightness to the cup. With flavors of baked apricot, vanilla, and black tea to round out the surprisingly syrupy cup, this coffee is just delightful.
I loaded the Probatino with 400g of the coffee from 650 farmers, carefully processed and prepared at Cherab na Betesebu’s family mill, once known as Misty Valley. I charged the drum at 360F and this dense, small, and very well-dried coffee dropped over 100 degrees, and at the turning point, I chose to apply the maximum gas (3.5 on the dial) until stage 2. I’m in love with the jasmine and bergamot notes that are the hallmarks of a specialty coffee from Yirgacheffe and wanted to stress the roast with enough heat to express as many of these reactions as possible during stage 1.
About 10 seconds after I noted stage 2 had started, I turned the heat down to 3, around 90%. As much as I love the fruit and floral notes of this origin, I wanted to explore it with a slightly more balanced cup. Making a heat adjustment here and at approximately 370F, bringing the gas down to 2.5. I then turned the gas down completely before first crack to 2 on the dial, knowing the coffee would more than likely take off during the exothermic stage.
First crack was quite sparse at first. I heard a few lonely pops at about 389F, however, things didn’t begin to roll until 394F. And yes, the coffee took off, but more than expected. Although I had turned the gas down to the minimum on the dial (2), I had to adjust the flame dial to 50% (approximately) at 399F. This allowed me a few short seconds to coast to 16% post-crack development.
While the complexity and flavor in the cup were outstanding examples of the best Yirgacheffe has to offer, what really made me sit up was the body. Clean and clear, yes, but also soft and syrupy – an unexpected boon. Alex Taylor, our Tasting Room manager at The Crown, not only insisted that this coffee be our new espresso, but also profiled it himself. Grab a mask and come down for a cappuccino, or maybe an espresso over ice!
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.
We are always spoiled by arrivals of Ethiopian coffees, and I feel even more spoiled roasting a coffee from a place I have visited. While this place was once known as ‘Misty Valley,’ my visit there was in the bright of day and, in lieu of mist, the sparse cloud cover was much appreciated. Row upon row of raised drying beds provided what seemed like the perfect environment for drying, and a creek runs through the middle of the property, supplying fresh water for processing. I tell you about the idyllic setting because the feeling of being there carries over into the flavors that this coffee brings to the table.
Anyhow. I knew this coffee would need extra heat to maintain the crisp acidity and floral notes it is so well known for. In order to preserve these attributes, I hit this with all the power the Behmor could muster – P5 on a manual roast. I didn’t back down with this coffee, and kept 100% power on until the end of the roast. Rather, I controlled heat and smoke by opening the door of the roaster from just after first crack (10:45), all the way until finish (11:25). I didn’t want to take this coffee too far into post-crack development, as I knew I wanted all that brightness.
To my palate, this roast came off softer than I recall – but this is the wont of the Behmor after all. That’s not to say it wasn’t delicious! I found lingering grape acidity with a hint of lemon, and an ephemeral purple flavor that hovered over my palate. This is the sort of coffee people call ‘elegant,’ and I could drink it all day.
It also turns out to be eminently extractable, as you’ll see in my brew notes, below!
Brew Analysis by Evan Gilman
Brewing and roasting Ethiopian coffees is always a pleasure. As a new barista, I always found I could get something delicious from these coffees, no matter how badly I messed up. As a roaster, I’ve had the same experience – maybe I let this coffee take a little bit too long in Maillard? No problem, still incredibly delicious!
For this coffee, I stuck with the tried and true filter drip option, the Chemex. Ethiopian coffee and filter drip are, to my mind, the most deluxe combination. For my first brew I stuck to my standard parameters. A grind setting of 22 on the Baratza Virtuoso always does well in the Chemex at a 1:16 ratio. I decided to use 200g pulse pours right off the bat, however, since I know most Ethiopian coffees tend to drain through rather slowly. My dwell time was characteristically long at 5:20, and the resulting cup was thich with grape sweetness, lemon acidity, and the elusive purple flavor, though it was quite muddled. At a whopping 19.88% extraction, it was a strong cup.
For my next grew, I ground a little coarser (24), and agitated after my first 200g pour. Everything else remained the same. The brew time was longer yet! And perhaps grinding coarse wasn’t the way to go. My extraction percentage dipped to 17.89%, and while the lemon and lime notes came through nicely, with some jasmine floral, the finish was dry and powdery – something I associate with an underextracted cup.
Back to the drawing board. This time with grind 20 on the Virtuoso, and the bypass technique. With an original brew strength of 1:15, I knew this coffee would be too heavy, so I diluted to a 1:17 ratio and was met with sweet success: 19.34% extraction, cherry candy sweetness, jasmine top notes, lime acidity, and some sort of crisp tropical fruit like rose apple. The brew time of 5:10 was the shortest yet.
But the real winner here was the AeroPress. This partial immersion method brought out all the best notes I got from my disparate Chemex pours. The result was a very full (texture-wise, though I am an optimist) cup of cherry, maple, and vanilla sweetness. This, topped off with a boysenberry tartness and very clear floral notes of jasmine and violet… I was over the moon. Try this coffee as a full or partial immersion brew, and I personally think you’ll be sweetly rewarded. Clearly, suspended solids in this coffee are no problem – see the espresso report below!
Espresso Analysis by Bolor Erdenebat & Dorris Garrido with Chris Kornman
We debuted this lovely Aricha as an espresso option at The Crown this weekend, a welcome fresh crop addition to our lineup. On Friday morning, just five days off roast, Bolor Erdenebat took the coffee for its first trip through the portafilter on her morning dial. She settled in at 18.1g in / 36g out in 35s; the shots tasted like honey suckle, juicy and sweet, smelled like jasmine flower. On Saturday, the sixth day Doris Garrido dialed the coffee to a nearly identical spec: 18.1g / 36g / 36s. The shots were limey, bright, chocolatey, with very nice acidity like green apple and tart like cranberry juice, finishing with a marmalade type sweetness.