This is a traditional natural coffee from Gedeo, Ethiopia, produced by Bedhatu Jibicho and her family.
The flavor profile is exceptionally clean and fruit forward with an emphasis on berry-like flavors including blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry. The coffee is underscored by a light, milk-chocolatey body and a hint of honeysuckle.
Our roasters found the coffee to take heat quickly approaching first crack and urge a gentle approach.
When brewed our baristas enjoyed conical drip pour-over filters for their cleanliness, fruity flavors and florality.
Taste Analysis by Colin Cahill
This is a coffee with a fascinating story and a long history with Royal, and it really shines as an example of the fruity and floral flavors possible in high-altitude, impeccably processed Ethiopian coffees. Bedhatu’s family has produced a clean, natural coffee this season with juicy berry and stone fruit flavors and sophisticated floral notes. Those fruity and floral flavors really shine in lighter roasts and when brewed up on cone brewing devices. This season we are seeing so many delicious Ethiopian coffees, and this one does not disappoint!
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 natural lot, cherries are carefully hand sorted and floated to separate out less dense beans, then immediately spread out on raised beds in a single layer where it is dried over a period of 12 to 20 days and hand sorted continuously. The drying cherry is often covered in the mid-afternoons to prevent cracking or uneven evaporation during the hours of 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
Exceptional green coffee, as expected under Ethiopia’s Grade 1 designation for this lovely and fragrant natural coffee from Bedhatu Jibicho. The coffee here, in addition to uncommonly high density and moderately low and stable moisture figures is sorted to predominantly screen sizes 15-16. While this is a little on the small size for global average, it’s on par for Southern Ethiopian selections, and has a nice, narrow distribution, tighter than we usually see from this region.
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.
Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Doris Garrido
As a woman in the coffee industry, I am proud and honored to conduct a Diedrich roast analysis on this coffee from this badass producer Bedhatu Jibicho. If you have tasted her coffees, you will know that harvest by harvest quality, consistency, and great taste is guaranteed.
After looking at the numbers on the green analysis I can see we have a small and dense coffee. Because of that, my plan was to push a little bit during the drying phase and get a gap to control it during Maillard, so, I decided to use 386F as my charge temperature with 100% gas.
Having previous experience roasting naturals makes me remember that during Maillard I must be careful. Adding to this, the moisture was not high, so I anticipated that the coffee would start racing before first crack. Roasting on the Diedrich can be fun, but is also tricky – that means I must be focused and ready to push the breaks at any moment.
After the turning point, I started lowering my gas from 100% to 60% to slow my rate of rise before color change, as I thought this coffee was taking all the heat on. Before the color change I lowered my gas again to 45%. At that moment I had enough energy to keep the roast going through Maillard with no problems.
And then it was time to bring the air flow. In the Diedrich that can be complicated, but at this point it would add energy, so I decided to add 50% air to help keep pushing and to make my final cup cleaner. I lowered my gas to 30% a minute before first crack.
All the energy from before made for an excellent rate of rise and coffee started popping at 385F. With the air going on to 100%, I dropped the coffee at 402F with about 1:29 of time development.
I feel that overall, I got a balanced cup, with some notes of apple butter, cherry, blueberry, black grape, grapefruit, fruit punch, and some silky-smooth sugar. My end of roast went a little hot, and that is something that scares me while roasting naturals, probably that is where the grapefruit aftertaste came from. I believe if I were to do it again I would lower my end temperature, but this roast does not need that many changes because after all this is a noble coffee that tastes delicious, and it is not hard to work with.
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.
Another week, another phenomenal Ethiopian coffee! I knew from my experience with the washed lot from Bedhatu Jibicho that I would need to take care and make a plan before roasting this coffee. This small, well-sorted, and dry coffee wouldn’t need as much push as some other coffees with wider screen size distribution, so I charged at a medium-high 385F, with 10A heat application and full fan until turning point.
What I didn’t bargain for was the jangling of my thermocouple probes! You can see in the attached roast curve that there’s an unexpected jolt just after turning point. Luckily I was able to fix this issue quickly, but let it serve as a reminder to always check that your gear is well appointed before starting your roast.
As the roast progressed, I made some very simple but effective changes. As with most fruit-dried coffees I started airflow a bit sooner at 230F / 2:25, reduced heat to 7.5A at 260F / 3:05, and ramped up fan speed to full at 290F / 3:55. My only other adjustment was to reduce heat to 5A just after first crack at 385F / 8:33, perhaps a bit too late. This coffee had somewhere to be, and really picked up speed after first crack! Be very gentle indeed with heat application later in the roast with this coffee. I was able to achieve 1:09 of post-crack development for a total of 12.2% of the roast, and dropped the coffee into the cooling tray at 399.4F / 9:24.
Due to a slight increase in rate of rise at the end of my roast, I did notice a bit of a roasty note upon brewing this coffee, but it was quite obscured by all the lovely flavors I found in this coffee once the cup cooled a bit. I was immediately struck by the pungent dried strawberry and black tea notes, and a spicy sweetness like Manuka honey. Upon cooling, even more berry notes came out, and I was reminded of buttery blackberry oatmeal fruit bars. The fruit flavors here had me recalling Yemeni coffee in a lot of ways, and the buttery texture helped as well.
All in all, I’d say to take Doris’ advice above and really slow your roll going into first crack. This coffee has somewhere to be, and won’t need much push through Maillard. This coffee will perform phenomenally well as a filter drip or as a full immersion brew, and will transport you to the arid forests of Ethiopia.
Brew Analysis by Colin Cahill
We were excited to hear that coffee from Bedhatu Jibicho’s family farm was returning to the The Crown for analysis, as we have proudly featured delicious coffee from their previous harvests in our tasting room. Our high expectations were met and surpassed by our brews of this latest harvest. Zainab pulled out a Saint Anthony Industries C70 and an ever-popular Chemex to see how a brew on a more ubiquitous brewing device compared to a brew on the device that is often our go-to for fruity and floral coffees.
We brewed it up first on the C70, and it performed just as expected, with a typical brew time and a TDS reading and extraction percentage that situated it right in the SCA “ideal” range. This brew was light yet juicy and oh so sweet, and dominated by berry notes—raspberry and blackberry, in particular. It had a sweetness that reminded us of toffee and honey, and it was rounded out with soft floral and herb notes, including lilac, and an aromatic touch of saffron. This was a tasty brew that was hard to put down.
Switching to the Chemex, we brewed it up with a similar recipe and received a brew with a slightly greater extraction. This brew featured similarly sweet and bright fruit flavors, with peach being the dominant flavor. The acidity was a little punchier, tasting of lemon and some similar citrus notes, and the sweetness was reminiscent of honey and ripe Cavendish banana. The florality was a bit more pronounced on this brew with a lovely honeysuckle flavor, and the body was tea-like. This was also quite tasty, and we are confident that cone brewing devices will generally yield clean, fruity, and floral brews.