A fantastic Grade 1 Ethiopia processed according to a natural (unwashed) process, just arrived at the roastery in Grain Pro bags.
The second Ethiopia natural we launch for this year, it has been roast profiled for filter (light toasting) or espresso (medium toasting) extractions.
This coffee has a remarkable complexity rarely found in natural Ethiopias: purple, funky fruits, lavender, peach, and sweet candied fruits along with nice acidity.
The finer details
Where it comes from
This coffee comes from a private mill located in Egu Abaya, in the Guji zone of Oromia region, southern Ethiopia.
The Guji zone has been recently recognized for the particular different flavor profiles that delivers when compared to Sidamo or Yirgacheffe. It is therefore not classified anymore a Sidamo sub-region but rather than an entirely different area.
Who grew it
The mill is owned by Israel Degfa, who runs several washing stations in the South and South West of Ethiopia. From 2017, when a reform allowed producers to sell directly overseas, he started to fully manage the supply chain and ensure full traceability of the coffees.
The best coffees are always separated in micro-lots according to the day and area of harvest as well as to the preparation. They generally do lot separation based on 150 bags of parchment, equal to 100 bags of greens. But they often do smaller lot sizes as well when they do honey (soon to come @ Nero Scuro :-) ), shade or other improved preparations.
The washing station in Egu Abaya collects coffee from the small farmers in the area. On average, in Ethiopia a farmer grows less than one hectare with no more than 1500 trees, each producing 100–200 grams of green coffee each year.
The cultivar is a mix of improved local varieties like Certo and local Wolisho, coffees native of the local forests transferred to family smallholder plots. Such varietals are referred to collectively as Ethiopian Heirloom: a myriad of local native Typica hybrids and newly improved varietals based on the old strains.
How it was processed
The Egu Abaya was prepared according to a natural, unwashed process.
Natural coffee production is demanding and requires as much attention to the details as the production of washed coffees. The whole process lasts no less than 15–20 days.
Cherries are firstly hand sorted. Eliminating cherries that are under- or over-ripe permits to obtain a sweeter, cleaner final product that meets the Grade 1 requirements.
Cherries are then immediately placed over the drying tables. The first drying phase is crucial in determining the cup quality. The cherries are spread in relatively thin layers over the tables to avoid any over-fermented flavors and are turned continuously until a moisture content comparable to that of raisins (about 25%) is reached after a few days. It is essential to turn the cherries carefully to avoid fruit damages and consequent undesired fermentation.
In the second phase, the cherries are dried down to 10–12% residual moisture. They are arranged in thicker layers and continuously rotated during the day while rested overnight. A drying sequence, when too fast, can produce an excess of fermented flavors, while a too slow one can form molds or other unpleasant flavors.
Once the target moisture level is reached, the cherries are mechanically processed in the mill to remove pulp and parchment from each bean (the hulling process).
The beans are then hand sorted again to remove any defectives, separated by grade, and finally placed in Grain Pro bags inside juts bags to protect the beans from moisture during transport and avoid any cross contamination.
What to expect in the cup
We have profiled the Egu Abaya for filter extracts (light roast) or espresso (medium roast).
In both cases the coffee shows and exalts all the characteristics of natural Ethiopias, but with a complexity rarely found in such coffees: floral, funky fruits, lavender, peach, and sweet candied fruits along with nice acidity.
Two profiles available: Medium, for espresso & moka pot Light, for filter