This is a traditional washed coffee from Gedeb, Ethiopia, grown by smallholder famers and processed at the Wuri washing station. The coffee has undergone extensive defect sorting to achieve a mythical designation of “Grade Zero.”
The flavor profile is bright and citrusy, with lots of sweet peach notes, orange blossom fragrance, and a blackberry-like base.
Our roasters found the coffee performed nicely with a high charge temperature and lots of early heat and airflow.
When brewed, our baristas noted a wide range of sweet, floral notes at multiple extraction profiles. This coffee will be featured as a Pour-over at The Crown.
Taste Analysis by Colin Cahill
Going through intense, high-altitude development and rigorous processing and sorting, this is an exceptional Gedeb that highlights all the elegant floral notes possible from origin. This super clean bean can be dialed to feature jammy berry flavors (blackberry and blueberry), rich peach notes, or lush spring florals. Get ready for juicy brews with honey sweetness and lingering orange blossom notes!
Source Analysis by Charlie Habegger
The district of Gedeb takes up the south-eastern corner of Ethiopia’s Gedeo Zone—a narrow section of plateau dense with savvy farmers whose coffee is known as “Yirgacheffe,” after the zone’s most famous district. Gedeb, however, is a terroir, history, and community all its own that merits unique designation in our eyes. The region is a thriving market landscape that links commerce between the Guji and Gedeo Zones and contains an expansive network of processing stations who often buy cherry from across zone borders.
Processors across Gedeb would argue (and we would agree) that their coffee profiles are not exactly Yirgacheffe, but something of their own. Cup profiles, in many cases produced closer to Guji than the rest of Yirgacheffe, are often the most explosive we see from anywhere in Ethiopia. Naturals tend to have perfume-like volatiles, and fully washed lots are often sparklingly clean and fruit candy-like in structure. Communities around Gedeb reach some of the highest growing elevations for coffee in the world and have a long history of arabica preservation and genetic diversity.
Worka-Sakaro is a municipality located in northeast Gedeb close to the Guji border. It is a remote but impressively industrious area for coffee production. Of the 1300 hectares that comprise the area, over half of them are planted with coffee. Up to a few years ago when coffee exports were allowed only limited channels, the vast majority of coffee grown in this area was either processed and exported by the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (YCFCU), consolidated under the wide-reaching Worka Cooperative, or sold anonymously through the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX). Today, however, in addition to the Worka Cooperative splitting into multiple smaller coops, there are increasing numbers of single farm owners and independent companies who are processing and exporting direct. It is an exciting time to be buying in Gedeb, where we expect to see new layers of coffee continuously unfold as its local industry accelerates.
Currently there are two private washing stations in Worka-Sakaro, one of which is Wuri, whose name in the Gedeo language translates to “high altitude.” The station was originally constructed in 2012 and today is owned by Ranger Industry & Trading PLC. Wuri, aside from producing assertive and tropical fully washed coffees, is also focused on achieving a diversity of processing and milling standards in order to iterate on local traditions and expand expectations of coffees from this area.
This “Grade Zero” selection comes from a collaborative effort between Royal and Ranger Industry & Trading to design a near-perfect rendition of a top washed Gedeb. The experimental microlot begins as a careful fully-washed outturn, fermented 48 hours and washed under fresh water. Once dried, the coffee is treated to extra sorting steps at the dry mill, including multiple additional passes in the color sorter and a longer, slower hand-removal of imperfections. The idea is to present a better-than-Grade 1 result, hence the grade “0.” We want coffees like these to inspire roasters to consider new possibilities for Gedeb’s coffees and producer collaboration, as well as motivate producer groups to come up with innovative targets of their own. Southern Ethiopia has long been a place Royal has wanted to see surpass its (admittedly, ridiculously high) status quo, and each coffee like this is a small step in that direction.
Private processors like Wuri 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 Wuri, 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. Successful innovation and buyer collaboration is certainly one way to do so.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
Clean green is the name of the game for this “Grade Zero” Ethiopian selection from the Wuri station in Worka-Sakaro. Immaculate sorting is paired here with the usual suspects of washed Ethiopias: high density, low moisture, and small screen size.
The default “indigenous” designation for Ethiopian coffees doesn’t really do justice to the wide variety and significant agronomic work that’s been poured into the cultivars commonly grown in the country. In places like Worka-Sakaro, smallholders usually grow a mix of a few controlled varieties which were either selected from wild populations for positive characteristics or bred specifically to suit a regional idiosyncrasy (such as rust, berry disease, or climate). While you won’t find legacy cultivars like Bourbon or hybrids like Catimor here, there is usually a small grouping of favored trees grown throughout the region. Landraces, like those we find more commonly as “forest coffees” in the west of the country, are generally only present as manicured selections in the south.
Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Doris Garrido and Chris Kornman
Doris’ approach to this dense, dry Ethiopia was to pump the gas early on, extend Maillard slightly, and pull off a light roast with good sugar development, and the curve here could not look better.
Starting with a decently high 390F charge temperature and 85% gas right out of the gates, Doris then opened the airflow fully before the bottom of the turnaround. Full steam ahead straight into Maillard in a trim 4:30, her gas settings gradually reducing along the way with a brief 50% baffle during color change and then back to 100% anticipating first crack allowed for a smooth 35% of total roast length at just over 3:00. A couple of deft heat adjustments at the end of the roast allowed the beans to coast easily to a 51.7 Colortrack (ground).
Doris notes that in addition to shortening her drying time overall, the coffee didn’t appear to take color until a little later than usual. The airflow agility and relatively steady application of heat allowed her to really fly into first crack and confidently back off the burner power without risk of stalling. The cup was juicy and expressive, with orange blossom notes lifting an otherwise citrus-focused coffee into candy-like territory.
We strongly recommend using a hot charge temperature and generally keeping an open airflow for this coffee, particularly early in the roast.
Quest M3s Analysis by Evan Gilman
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 200g batch size, and begin roasting when I’ve reached my desired charge temperature. Read my initial post here and my updated post here.
Just hearing that coffees from the Wuri station were coming in was enough to get me excited. This washing station has provided some of my very favorite coffees (yes, from anywhere) over the past few seasons. I knew from experience that this coffee would be very dense, and very tasty.
To that effect, I performed a roast much like Doris’ that utilized a high charge temperature and plenty of push. Starting with 10+A power and full fan speed, I charged the 200g batch of coffee at 391.5F and a high (for the Quest M3s’ current probe) Environmental Temperature of 300F.
At 250F / 2:40, I introduced fan speed to 3 and reduced heat application to 7.5A at 300F / 3:45 shortly thereafter. Once this coffee soaks up heat from its environment, it really starts chugging! If you have a roaster that can handle quick turnarounds, this will be a very fun coffee for you. On the Quest, I admit I struggled a bit to get this coffee to slow down through Maillard. At 330F / 4:25 I increased fan speed to full, and reduced heat to 5A at 340F / 4:50 – but it just kept on trucking. I was able to spend a good amount of time in post-crack development without the temperature skyrocketing, however.
This was a fast roast by my usual standards. I reached first crack at 6:39, and completed the roast at 394.5F / 8:00. Despite these stats, the coffee came out delectable. One would have a very hard time making this coffee taste bad, but I think my post-crack development really brought out the sweetness I was looking for in what is going to be a bright and floral coffee regardless. High airflow early in the roast cycle did help with that!
This coffee absolutely glittered in the cup. What at first was a cacophony of herbal and citrus notes calmed down elegantly into juicy lime, rich blood orange, thick peach, and sage. My hefty post-crack development time brought out dark chocolate overtones, and a sweetness like violet pastille candy. This coffee is heavenly. Drink it as a filter drip, a full immersion brew, or an espresso – just drink it. And quickly!
ikawa pro v3
Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Doris Garrido
Low water activity, low moisture content, small in size but high in density, Ethiopia Worka-Sakaro coffee is a very interesting coffee to roast and a delicious experience for the palate.
Reading the high density in this coffee I assume that heat is going to be needed at charging, and by the low water activity and moisture, this coffee may want to race at first crack. By this point, I was very intrigued by this zero-grade and high altitude “Wuri” ethiopia.
For Ikawa roast analysis we used three profiles that have been designed to observe how the coffee will react and to taste them in order to find which roasting decision will affect the taste we want better.
As I did not check the proper order in the profiles line up, I use the crown Maillard slow roast +30 at first, this profile has slightly longer Maillard phase and shorter post crack development, which translate in some notes like Guava, pear, plum, brown sugar, cocoa, dark chocolate, chicory, clementine, blueberry, brown sugar, caramel.
The Crown standard profile with a longer development results in a brighter cup with mild citrus, tart cherry, blue berry, and hibiscus.
The last profile I used, the Low air flow, gave us some darker notes, we found some starfruit acidity but low in sweetness and a little bit toasty roast.
Based on the notes we have on the cupping table, the two first profiles I use give us the tastier notes, shorter roast higher temps results in juicy and fruity flavors I can say!
You can download the profile to your Ikawa Pro app here:
Roast 1: Crown Maillard +30 SR 1.0
Roast 2: Crown Standard SR 1.0
Roast 3: Crown 7m SR LowAF 2
Brew Analysis by Colin Cahill
This has got to be one of the most elegant coffees I have had the privilege to brew up! The altitude, processing, and sorting of this bean ensure some of the cleanest floral notes out there, and we opted to highlight those notes on two different conical brewers: the Saint Anthony Industries C70 and the Hario V60.
Zainab brewed it up a few times on the C70, starting with a slightly coarsened grind, yielding a relatively quick brew with a lower TDS reading. This lighter extraction really highlighted the delicate floral notes. We tasted lilac, lavender, and rose, followed by blackberry tartness and sweet chocolate, honey, and pistachio notes.
On the V60 with a similar recipe, we yielded a brew with a heavier extraction. This brew also highlighted the floral notes of this bean, presenting the flavor of orange blossoms. This extraction was much more fruit-forward than those from the C70, and was loaded with notes of peach, melon, and ripe pear. This more-syrupy brew had a honey sweetness and a green apple acidity.
We cannot wait to feature this exceptional coffee on our pourover bar at The Crown!