Intro by Chris Kornman
If you’d told me five years ago I’d be this excited about a natural coffee, I’m sure I wouldn’t have believed you. This is Halo Beriti, and it is a game changer. I’m sure it’s impossible not to love it.
The grounds immediately release incredible aromatics, fragrances of lilac and rose petal with copious concord grape are met and matched in the cup with blackberry, pomegranate, cantaloupe, black cherry and vanilla… this list could go on for days, to be honest. It’s a generous coffee, one that meets you where you’re at and offers itself to you freely.
The Hambela region is home to an estate, washing stations, and collection points owned and operated by METAD Agricultural Development PLC. The family-run company was gifted property by Emperor Selassie in honor of the matriarch, Muluemebet Emiru, the first African woman pilot. METAD is now managed by her grandson Aman Adinew, and its export partner Rift Valley Trading LLC is operated by his brother Michael Adinew. Among the many important pieces of work undertaken by METAD are their commitment to equal employment opportunities for women and education opportunities for the youth of the coffeelands, their early partnerships with Grounds for Health, and their development of Africa’s first SCA certified lab.
In the field, not only have they established their own harvesting sites, but they have partnered with smallholder associations. They don’t simply buy the coffee cherry from the local farmers, but they provide them with pre- and post-harvest trainings. These trainings include agriculture and business management help, with the intention of reaching beyond simply getting better coffee to create better, mores sustainable communities.
Halo Beriti is selected from one such smallholder association. We fell in love with a washed version of this coffee back in 2017 (subsequently using its name as a secret greeting) and I can’t tell you how thrilled we are to have its fruit-dried iteration back in our coffers. This coffee will not last long. If you drink one Ethiopian Raised Bed Natural this year, make it this one.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
No surprises here, METAD have come through yet again with impeccable green coffee specs. Above average in density, much smaller than average in screen size, stable moisture figures: all hallmarks of an excellent Grade 1 Ethiopian coffee.
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 is exactly the kind of coffee I had in mind when developing the Maillard +30 profile (blue) for the Ikawa, and in my opinion a perfect execution of the roast’s ability to highlight all the best attributes of a bold, complex floral and fruity natural Ethiopia.
You’ll notice that first crack occurs quite late in each of these roasts, an anomaly perhaps unique to this particular coffee, and one that didn’t seem to affect the proper development of sugars when cupping. Each of the roasts tasted nice, though the fastest (red) was a little thin and perhaps showed some signs of underdevelopment, it also had an incredible bouquet. The longer, lower airflow muted the complex fruitiness of the coffee into a straightforward grape and chocolate flavor that was pleasant but not exciting.
It was the middle-of-the-road path that extended Maillard reactions under high airflow conditions that brought out all of the blackberry, concord grape, and strawberry notes in the cup.
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 Low AF
Probatino Analysis by Alex Taylor
Coffee #2 in the queue this week is an exciting natural coffee from Halo Beriti in Gedeb! After months of drinking a washed Colombia at home during quarantine (no complaints, it was delicious) I am super excited that we’re in the thick of Ethiopia and Kenya season, and I feel truly blessed that I get to drink pretty much every single one that rolls through our warehouse! This coffee has medium/high density with somewhat low moisture content, and as expected, the prep looked great, so I expected a fairly straightforward roast on this one.
After my super hot and fast roast of CJ1369, I made sure to let the machine cool sufficiently, in hopes of having a slightly more relaxing roast this time. Again, I compensated for a slightly smaller batch size by lowering my charge temperature about 10 degrees, but otherwise planned for a simple roast here. Low heat application to start, crank it up after the turnaround point, and then start stepping down somewhere between color change and 350F. And that’s just what I did; I was happy to see this coffee not fly off the rails at the beginning and settle into a familiar roast curve from the get-go. I was a little bit torn between not wanting to overdo the heat in the beginning because of the small batch, but knowing I had a dense coffee on my hands that would probably need the energy. I cruised through most of the roast and started stepping off the gas as I approached first crack. And this coffee did not slow down. It laughed at my baby steps, and finally slowed some when I shoved the gas back to 2, the lowest setting we use. I even lowered the “flame” setting (typically a last resort) towards the end, and again saw the gentlest response. All things said, the roast clocked in at 6:31, with an end temperature of 405.7F (a little higher than I wanted) and only 0:43 (11%) development time. If I had another shot at this coffee, I’d turn up the heat a little earlier in the beginning, so that I could start stepping down earlier towards the end. This was the second roast in a row that disappointed me, BUT…
Man this coffee was delicious! Blueberry, lemon, and black cherry were the headliners in this coffee, and as it cooled, that classic Ethiopia milk chocolate and vanilla joined the party. This coffee really made me want 2 things: a blueberry lemon muffin, and more of this coffee! As I would expect from a really high quality Ethiopia like this, I didn’t find it funky or dirty tasting. The fruit notes were big and bold, but also crisp, clean, and well defined. The more the cup cooled, the more chocolate came through; there’s plenty of sweetness to go around if you want to roast and brew this coffee to be a little less acidity-driven. All in all a classic, high quality natural from Gedeb that would make a stunning addition to anyone’s coffee lineup! Very excited for this afternoon’s brew analysis session…
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.
To my mind, there are a few different types of natural coffees: dried fruit naturals, winy naturals, berry bomb naturals, mild and gently fruity naturals, grape soda naturals, berry flavored tealike naturals.. Hold the phone, it seems like each one is different. Case in point: this coffee is a number of things to me, even at a single roast level.
My roast started typically, roasting manually with P5 for 100% heat application, and hitting “D” for high drum speed on the Behmor 1600 Plus. I wanted to take this coffee slow and easy through Maillard and development, and really get as much heavy berry goodness as I could in doing so. I hit P4 at 9:30, fully two minutes before first crack. This is one of my longest roasts in recent memory, and opening the door at crack and allowing the coffee to develop for a meager 50 seconds, I am confident I got very even development, and somewhat of an old school flavor profile as well.
The first thing that struck me on stopping the roast was CHAFF FIRE! This is absolutely the first time this has ever happened on the Behmor. Even though I cleaned diligently after my previous roast and even did a clean burn beforehand, the sheer amount of chaff on this coffee is a force to deal with. This also contributed to my larger-than-normal roast loss percentage, I imagine. Even if you’re not roasting on the Behmor, remember to clean your chaff can after roasting this coffee!
This is a perfect place to intone best practices for a chaff fire. For the Behmor, and electric roaster, do NOT use water to put out the fire. The first step is to remove air, heat, or fuel from this situation. The easiest thing to do is to just close the door of the roaster to limit airflow, which is exactly what I did. The fire went out almost immediately. When in doubt, snuff it out.
Despite the chaff fire, this coffee turned out old school delicious. On heavier extractions, I got tons of dark chocolate, merlot wineyness, raisin, and brown sugar. With a coarse grind, I got dark cherry, honeysuckle florals, effervescent cherry cola, and vanilla aftertastes. This coffee is extremely flexible, and an adventure every time. If you’re a fan of the old school berry profile, this might be just the coffee for you.. Read on for brew notes!
Brew Analysis by Alex Taylor
It’s a truly delightful time of year right now, with fresh Crown Jewels from Ethiopia flowing freely! We’ve been sipping a new washed Ethiopia as espresso in the Tasting Room lately, but I haven’t quite gotten my natural fix yet. Enter CJO1370.
This coffee tasted great all the way through the analysis process: fruity and floral, sweet and juicy, clean but rich! For this week’s brew analysis, I’ve been putting a new dripper, the Espro Bloom through the works alongside a v60. For this coffee, I upped my water temperature a little to 208F to try to really capture the fresh, juicy, fruity notes. As was the case with CJ1369 and CJO1371, the two brews finished with very different brew times, but otherwise comparable brew specs, right around 1.4 TDS and 22% extraction. Nothing out of the ordinary when brewing this coffee!
These two brews really were shockingly similar, which shouldn’t surprise me given the similarity in brew specs; but I thought the difference in shape and style of the brew device would lend some different notes. I take this as a positive though! Both brews were delicious, which leads me to think that you can do pretty much whatever you want with this coffee, and it will still taste delicious! This coffee is pure natural ethiopia bliss! Big juicy berry notes up front – blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, you name it – followed by a sweet caramel and milk chocolate backbone, all with a refreshing floral finish that leaves you wanting more.