This is a traditional double washed coffee from Gedeo, Ethiopia, produced by cooperative members of Adame Gorbota under the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union. The coffee is certified fair trade and organic.
The flavor profile is juicy and floral, led by notes of jasmine, orangy citrus, and an array of melon-like tastes.
Our roasters found the coffee clean and elegant and true to character despite some differences in profiling.
When brewed the coffee is ideal for expression as a pour-over and sophisticated as an iced option.
Taste Analysis by Colin Cahill
For folks familiar with the floral and fruity notes of high-altitude Ethiopian coffees, this bean will come as no surprise. With juicy watermelon and cantaloupe notes and jasmine florality, this coffee makes an elegant choice for pour-overs or a delicate and sophisticated iced coffee. As it cools, it becomes more and more reminiscent of a watermelon agua fresca. Expect those floral notes to dominate the aftertaste. So fresh and summery!
Source Analysis by Charlie Habegger
Wenago is in the northwestern part of the coveted Gedeo Zone—the narrow section of highland plateau dense with savvy farmers and fiercely competitive processors whose coffee is known the world over as “Yirgacheffe”, after the Zone’s most famous district. The Gedeo region is named after the Gedeo people who are indigenous to this area. As a coffee terroir, Gedeo has for decades been considered a benchmark for beauty and complexity in arabica coffee, known for being beguilingly ornate and jasmine-like when fully washed, and seductively punchy and sweet when sundried. Great coffees from here hardly require an introduction among coffee roasters, many of whom would count Gedeo, or “Yirgacheffe,” as one of the terroirs that lured them into a lifetime of coffee admiration.
Adame Gorbota’s members may have as much as 2 hectares apiece, although the coop’s average member has less than 0.5. These are quintessential Gedeo family farms: small and forested, whose production is often divided between spacious, lofty coffee trees and enset, a fruitless cousin of the banana plant whose pulp is packed into cakes, fermented underground, and then toasted as a staple starch. This common pair of crops satisfies unique and separate needs: coffee for economic livelihood; and enset for nutrition.
Processing for Adame Gorbota members occurs at one of two different sites outside the town of Wenago. Cherry is often delivered directly by farmer members or, in the case of members living further away, to select collection sites run by the cooperative. After cherry is delivered it is sorted for uniform ripeness, depulped, and fermented for 24 hours in a tank of fresh water which is regularly replenished throughout the process. After fermentation is complete the parchment is rinsed a final time and moved to raised screen beds to dry. Throughout the drying period, often 2-3 weeks, the parchment is often covered during the midday hours, which at this altitude is often searingly hot and can crack the brittle parchment if exposed for even an hour too long. Fully dried coffee is rested for one month on cooperative property, and then transported to the Union’s storage facility and dry mill for washed coffee in Addis Ababa.
Adame Gorbota is considered by YCFCU to be one of the best-run cooperatives in the Union. The Yirgacheffe Union itself has more than 50,000 individual farmer members and 24 different cooperatives across the Gedeo Zone. (Gedeo, while tiny compared to neighboring Sidama and Guji zones, is one of Ethiopia’s most densely populated areas after Addis Ababa.) The members of each primary cooperative elect their own executive committee which makes decisions about investments like new equipment and tree maintenance, but also creates plans for member social services, school support, public health, infrastructure, and how to structure payments to the coop members. YCFCU also appoints professional managers for each primary cooperative to oversee harvest and processing procedures, who are accountable to the members and the executive committee.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
No surprises here to those familiar with G1 Ethiopias. The green is nicely polished and very small in size, with high density and very low moisture content. The water activity is low, but not “low low” so don’t expect too much resistance to sugar browning, though the green will likely absorb any heat you’re willing to give it during earlier roasting stages.
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 Wenago, 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
Doris Garrido and I have been talking a lot lately in the roast lab about airflow and charge temperature. With a super dry, high density coffee like this washed Ethiopia, I figured I’d been handed a perfect opportunity to try a 100% open airflow profile (just like the old days on the cast iron Gothots) and really crank up the temperature. Starting with a high 400F charge temperature and 85% burner power, my goal was to get out of drying as soon as possible, keep Maillard reactions short but not too hot, and generally get a much faster roast out of the machine than we’re accustomed to in the past.
I bumped the gas up to 100% at the turnaround, noted an early but somewhat uneven color change and dropped to 70% burner power. When the exhaust temperature reached 430 I dropped down to 40% burner power, and then to 30% (our lowest setting) once first crack began. I watched the rate of rise dipping consistently and, despite my urges, kept my finger off the burner switch until just fifteen seconds prior to dropping the coffee, at which time I cut the gas completely, and discharged the coffee with just a few final pops in the cooling tray.
At just over 8 minutes, this is the shortest roast I think I’ve ever performed on the Diedrich. The 4-minute drying phase accounts for the majority of time shaved, 45-75 seconds shorter than my usual analysis roast. At 2:43, the Maillard reactions were short but not too short, and the coffee spent 80 seconds after crack, for me a time that feels about right with a sub-10F/min delta (though truly, with a coffee like this I roast less by time/temp and more by color value after first crack, which the Colortrack confirmed at a nicely browned exterior color of 62.5 and a delightfully on-spec 53 ground color). Fortunately, the last few seconds of the roast didn’t cause much anxiety, as I’d successfully managed my environmental temperature in the 2-3 minutes prior, a process I’d highly encourage repeating. Interestingly, despite the shortened overall time, the 50%/35%/15% ratio spread is nearly identical to most of my longer roasts on this machine.
One other curiosity: I mentioned some uneven early-Maillard color development. The coffee seems to reach yellow inconsistently, but browns very evenly by about 350-360 degrees. Don’t be deceived by the darker than average color at these low temps. Also, if you are aiming for a light roast that isn’t baked, you’ll likely find that inconsistency to reemerge in lower end temps. It’s not something I’d be worried at all about, but possibly worth noting: expect a little color variation in the coffee.
On the cupping table, my roast was incredibly aromatic (thanks, high airflow!) and offered sweet basil, stone fruit, and light floral notes with a surprising buttery body (considering the short Maillard stage). Not a trace of scorching to be found, I suspect I’ll be charging hot and boosting the burner power more in the future.
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.
This coffee appearing on the Crown Jewel menu will come as no surprise with those familiar with the name. Each year, organic coffee from this washing station comes in with stunning attributes but sometimes less fanfare than expected because it can be pre-sold in its entirety.
In counterpoint to Chris’ roast above, I decided to attempt to get as much time in Maillard as possible. I still went for a charge temperature on the higher end (388F) but wanted to spend a good deal of time bringing out the sugars and juiciness inherent in this coffee. Of course, the acidity here is ludicrously tasty, but for those who have been following along, I have quite the sweet tooth..
Moving along in this roast, I introduced fan early on at 230F / 2:27 due to a very strong rate of rise, then reduced heat application to 7.5A at 250F / 2:40. My series of quick adjustments culminated in full fan speed at 325F / 4:25 and no other adjustments until first crack, when I reduced heat application further to 5A. This was a phenomenally easy roast, with very little fiddling needed. My ratios of development were quite different from Chris’ as well: 46% / 43% / 11%. I was able to achieve my goal of spending nearly equal amounts of time in drying and Maillard stages of this roast, with fairly slim post-crack development and a finishing temperature just below 400F.
The results in the cup were phenomenal, as expected. This is a washed coffee that still conveys a lot of fruit, though not the berry type. What you’ll get here is (as Colin mentioned earlier), super clean watermelon candy notes. Think very fresh watermelon, nothing too sticky sweet. This coffee has plenty of cocoa, florals, and jasmine, but the melon really stands out here. The other notable attribute is just how clean this coffee is. Soon after taking a sip, I wanted another one because the flavor had already left my palate so completely.
I truly believe this coffee would be good for nearly any application. Espresso, cold brew, chocolate covered coffee beans, as an adjunct in an IPA… you name it! Drink soon, and drink often.
Brew Analysis by Colin Cahill
It is exciting to be getting more and more Ethiopian beans coming into the tasting room, and Doris and I had a lot of fun exploring how this high-altitude coffee performs on our pour over bar. We stuck with the Hario V60 and brewed it up a few ways, focusing on grind size as our main variable. From just the fragrance of the grinds, we could smell the fruity and floral qualities of this coffee. Our first brew came out beautifully, with a clean, syrupy body and a high extraction. This brew was loaded with citrus and berry notes, and some complex, but soft herbaceous notes—think lemongrass and lemon basil—and just a hint of melon.
We coarsened the grind, and received a brew with a lighter body, bolder melon notes, and a greater sweetness. This fruity brew had clean watermelon and cantaloupe flavor, and the herbal notes were replaced by a floral, jasmine presence. This second brew was sweet and fruity, yet delicate, with tisane-like qualities.
To contrast the conical Hario v60 with a flat-bottomed dripper, we brewed this coffee on the Fellow Stagg. This dripper tends to push up extraction, and in our experience, coffees from Ethiopia perform very well on the Stagg. Against expectations, however, this cup showed a lower extraction than either of our previous brews on the V60, though it still fell right into the range of appropriate extraction and TDS. It also brewed through much quicker than the previous brews, finishing right around three minutes on the Staff, rather than four and a half minutes on the V60. In the cup, this coffee was no less delicious than the previous brews. We tasted watermelon candy, blueberry juice, honeydew melon, and fresh raspberry, with a tart acidity and creamy body.
I could drink this coffee all day long, as either hot or as a flash brew, and I hope we get the chance to feature it in the tasting room!