||Ethiopia Kebel Kercha Guji Natural 2013
It gives me great pleasure to share with you this naturally processed Guji from Ethiopia.
Earlier this year, one of the most controversial coffees we stocked was the Ethiopia Konga Peaberry. It was a full-on assault on your senses, and a coffee you either loved or hated. Ever since I have wondered what it would be like to find a coffee like that, full of amazing flavours, but also a little more crowd pleasing, a little cleaner, and a little more repeatable in the brewing process.
Do you see where this is going? Well if not - I think we have found it with this coffee.
It's grown in the Sidamo region of Ethiopia at an altitude of 1900 meters to 2100 meters above sea level, and we believe it is a mixture of heirloom varietals, but mainly Typica. The reason we are not 100% sure is that the mill is provided to by 750 small producers, many of them from their gardens. Ironically even though it's a Sidamo, the mill is just north of the town of Yirgacheffe (the whole of that region is surrounded by Sidamo), near to the Wote area.
The mill produces lots of coffee, 144 tonnes a year to be exact, which equates to just over 7 containers; a lot for a mill in Ethiopia, in my experience. It also mainly works in washed coffee, but like this lot, produces some naturals.
The natural process is done by taking only the ripest cherries, and drying them on raised beds for 6-8 weeks, until the cherry is completely dried. It is then removed (hulled) and shipped as parchment to the ECX (Ethiopian commodity exchange) warehouses.
But this coffee comes from a much smaller, more select, lot. The way Ethiopia now sells its coffee is that coffee is presented to the ECX facility for grading and warehousing. Qualified cuppers decide what name should go on the bag, based upon that grading.
At this time much of the information about where the coffee is from and which mill produced it is removed from the coffee and it gets a simple name like Sidamo natural or Yirgacheffee washed, etc. When they find an exceptional lot that scores 90 or more on their cupping scale, they elevate this coffee and add more details to it, like the washing station and that it is a Q grade coffee, and then offer it for sale in their Q Catalogue at the ECX trading rooms. It is then bought by exporters/importers, who remove the parchment before shipping and sell to lucky roasters like me.
In the cup expect the unexpected. The most unique and amazing Ethiopian I have tasted since the heady days of 2008, pre EXC. Expect a sherbet-like mouthfeel, effervescent and zingy, then this turns into a sweetness like blueberry muffins. A truly amazing cup.
Washing station:Kebel Kercha
Farmer: 750 small holder producers
Farm Size: n/a
Coffee growing area: n/a
Altitude: 1900-2100 masl
Varietal: Typica and heirloom varietals
Processing System: Natural process and sun dried
Take into second crack, hear those pops for around 10-20 seconds then drop.
"Quick Look" Guide:
Effervescent, zingy, sweet, blueberry muffin.
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