This is a traditional triple-washed coffee from Gedeb, Ethiopia produced by Bedhatu Jibicho and her family.
The flavor profile is immaculately clean and floral, with notes of black tea, peach, ripe orange, caramel, vanilla, and sweet basil.
Our roasters found the coffee responded well to a little extra heat and overall behaved predictably in the machine.
When brewed the coffee is true to character and lovely at multiple iterations, and will likely prove a valuable addition anywhere you choose to place it on a menu.
Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman
One of the original staples of the Crown Jewel lineup, we’re thrilled to have Bedhatu Jibicho’s coffees back in the warehouse. The fresh crop washed offering this season is punctuated by cleanliness and characterized by the typical peach, citrus, and floral notes you’d expect from immaculate coffees grown and processed in Gedeb. This iteration offered pleasant caramelized notes as well, and we found hints of black tea, sweet basil, honey, plum, vanilla, and ripe orange.
Source Analysis by Mayra Orellana-Powell
Bedhatu Jibicho is like family here at Royal. Her family’s journey in coffee is emblematic of the recent changes in the Ethiopian export rules, which in the past few years have opened new opportunities for individual farmers to export their own coffee, rather than limit exportation to cooperative unions and private companies.
Bedhatu is native to the Worka area in the Gedeb district of Yirgacheffe. Her late husband was granted the family land in the 1960s from the Ethiopian government. After he passed away in 1991, Bedhatu continued to single-handedly manage the farm while raising all six of their children. She eventually joined the larger Worka cooperative in 2011, and then the nearby Banko Gotiti cooperative when it formed in 2013, both part of the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (YCFCU). In the same year she was recognized as a model farmer by the union and became eligible for processing training that would allow her to prepare and sell her own coffee as a separate lot, marketed and handled by the union as part of a new program of differentiation. Bedhatu’s sons had joined the family farm effort a few years prior, and with their help and the union’s blessing (and Royal’s enthusiasm!), the family eventually formulated a separate business entity that could export direct.
That business, Roba and Family Coffee, is perhaps the most successful single-farm exporter we know of in Gedeb. While the Roba family has expanded their reach to support other producers, we are always pleased to have an offering from Bedhatu’s original 84-acre farm, which she has personally managed for over 50 years now without the use of chemical inputs. 84-acres is drastically larger than most farms in the area, and Bedhatu employs 20 year-round workers and another 130 seasonal workers for the harvest who are primarily women. The farm itself produces about 5 containers of exportable coffee each year, which is always among Royal’s top qualities and one of the most sought-after Ethiopia profiles we carry.
For this washed lot, cherries are carefully hand sorted and floated to separate out less dense beans, then depulped, fermented for 48 hours, and washed and classified again by density in grading channels. The parchment is rinsed and placed on raised beds where it is hand sorted again and dried over a period of 12 to 15 days. The parchment is often covered during the afternoons to prevent harsh drying in the intense sun. As a family owned business, emphasis on social impact in the communities where they source coffee is taking shape. The Roba family has invested in more localized cherry collection sites to reduce the transportation cost for other producers. They have also contributed to road construction projects that make travel a bit easier for everyone.
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 to keep their coffees strong. For most newer single-farm exporters, the results have been increasing cup quality and higher returns for the individual producers over time. For Bedhatu and team, however, the coffee is simply always outstanding.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
As expected, this washed Ethiopian coffee from our longtime supply partner Bedhatu Jibicho has a small screen size, high density, and low moisture content. These hallmarks of Ethiopian beans lend to great shelf life but will likely need a little bit of heat early in the roast to push through into color change reactions.
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 Gedeb, 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 Chris Kornman
I always look forward to tasting fresh crop coffee from Bedhatu Jibicho and family. In years past, my role as a roaster has been limited to manual sample roasting and Ikawa profiling, but this time around I got to play on the Diedrich. Having spent the last two months reacquainting myself with the art of production roasting and getting some excellent input from my production assistant Doris Garrido, I felt confident to do right by this well-loved coffee.
With high density and low moisture, I opted to start the roast off hot at around 390F and circumvent a “soak” by plunging right in with 70% gas and airflow set to 50%, which I proceeded to open up at the turnaround to give a final boost to the momentum.
I’d hoped to reach color change by about 4:00, and lagging 20 seconds behind this target I kept my metaphorical foot on the gas and waited to back off until the coffee was really getting brown and first crack seemed imminent. I dropped in two quick moves to 30% gas, our lowest setting, and rode this through first crack as I watched my rate of rise decline quickly into a comfortable 10F per 60s. I hit my target end temperature 400F at 8:15 but wanted to extend the roast a bit based on the color and continuously rolling first crack, so I killed the burners and coasted for another 20 seconds before opening the door.
The roast came out at 53.77 on the Colortrack (ground), right on target for a light drip / pour-over roast. On the cupping table, the coffee led with incredible sweetness, like confectioner’s sugar and vanilla, and the cup was round and inviting. Notes of plum and blackberry served as a backdrop for candied floral notes and a slight sweet basil later, as the cups cooled.
This is a warm and gentle coffee with a lot of complexity and sweetness, and one which seemed to me straightforward in the machine. Happy roasting!
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.
One of my very favorite coffees of the year has come through shining, and seeing this coffee in our queue had me very excited. The next thing to do was to do it justice in the roaster, and to make sure this coffee saw its best representation in the final cup!
Seeing as this is a dense, small, and relatively dry coffee, I did want to hit it with a good amount of heat in the beginning, but then temper my heat application toward Maillard and the later stages of the roast. My first roast had me starting with a high charge temperature of 390F, then quickly rolling back heat application and increasing airflow. Something very strange happened with this roast, and it absolutely lept through Maillard, and while I was able to spend 2 minutes in post-crack development without hitting too high of a temperature, this was a ludicrously imbalanced roast! I genuinely have no idea what happened here, but accidents do happen. Luckily I was able to acquire more green, and try this roast again and do the coffee more justice.
In fact, I performed three roasts on this coffee. My second involved starting with a lower ET, and bringing this coffee into post-crack development slowly and steadily with the intent of not surpassing 395F as my end temperature. My third roast used a higher ET, slightly less time spent in post-crack development, and a higher end temperature of 399F – altogether a faster and hotter roast, but still reliant on conductive heat. All three used early application of airflow (around 240F), and early reduction of heat application to 7.5A (around 275F). The main difference was the machine’s starting environmental temperature.
As far as preference, I would drink drink Roast 2 (the lower environmental temperature version) for days. While the black tea notes didn’t come through as strong here, huge peach, navel orange, and just plain sugar came through so nicely in this cup. It basically evaporated off my tongue. I could drink it for days.
Roast 3 was nothing to scoff at, but the higher heat application did lend itself to some of those tannic black tea notes, and a much thicker body that reminded me positively of being served coffee from a jebena preparation. The word that came to mind for me after the peach tea, lemon, and crisp ruby red grapefruit notes here was ‘wholesome.’ If that’s your thing, take this coffee a little darker, a little faster!
I felt super privileged to be able to roast this coffee not once, but three times. After thinking about it all year, it’s finally in the cup again.. Thank you, Bedhatu Jibicho and Tesfaye Roba.
Brew Analysis by Nate Lumpkin
This washed Ethiopia brewed up fantastically both on V60 and Stagg. Its complex juiciness and florality was present no matter how I brewed it, though it seemed to exhibit a little more complexity on the Fellow Stagg. I hope we get to serve this one on the pour-over bar at the Crown, since it’s one of my favorite coffees I’ve tasted all year.
I love the Hario V60 for its versatility and ease of use: its a sturdy dripper that performs well with a wide variety of coffees. This Ethiopia was no exception. It took almost four minutes to brew through, which is pretty standard for dense East African coffees like this one. However, it exhibited a standard TDS and extraction of 1.37 and 20.09% respectively, which is right on target for a pour over. In the cup, we tasted peach, nectarine, starfruit, dried strawberry, red pear, black tea, dark chocolate, and caramel sweetness. I love this cup–it even had a hint of complex sweet herb on the finish to balance out its tropical fruit notes and unusual acidities. If you chose a conical dripper for this coffee, you definitely wouldn’t be making a bad choice.
I’ve found the Fellow Stagg often performs really well for dense Ethiopian coffees, since its high vertical walls and narrow base increase its extraction potential, and several holes in the base prevent it from choking. As expected, this brew finished a little faster than on the V60, at 3:38, with a higher TDS and extraction of 1.49 and 21.88%. Though the TDS looks a little high to me, its sweetness and acidity were complex and well-balanced. We tasted plum, peach, black cherry, pomegranate, blood orange, vanilla, sweet basil, milk chocolate, and caramel. Its intensity was well-matched with its syrupy body and complex flavors, and resulted in a fantastic cup of coffee–count yourself lucky if you get the chance to brew this!