Strawberry aromatics up front with a creamy body and floral notes. Reminds me of strawberry angel delight.
Region: Oromia, Guji zone, Southern Ethiopia
Mill: Shakiso dry mill, managed by Abiyot.
Yes it's true, we love natural Ethiopians. They're unique and the first time you taste a good one that is well roasted it makes you stop in your tracks. That is known as your 'Yirgacheffe' moment. Of course Yirgacheffe and Guji are different sub-regions of Sidamo I know but the sentiment is the same. When they are good these naturals exhibit clean super fruit flavours with identifiable florals to boot.
Shakiso dry mill is located in the kebele of Bube uke, near Shakiso town in Guji zone. This is in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. The mill specialises in producing high grade sun-dried coffee. Over a number of years the region has developed a distinguised reputation for fine coffees, producing some of the most sought-after microlots in the world. The combination of high altitude (up to 2,200m in some areas), fertile soil, consistent & plentiful rains, and an abundance of local knowledge are all contributing factors to the high status of Guji coffees. The indigenous ‘heirloom’ varietals – which grow wild in Ethiopia – are responsible for the unique flavour notes which make for an unusual but refined cup. When processed naturally through sun-drying these present as jammy berry fruit flavours, floral notes with a creamy body.
Organic production is widespread in Ethiopia, where in many countries this is completely unviable. Some suggest it is the diversity afforded by the forest-growing environment that slows the spread of disease, but it is safe to say there are many contributing factors to the uniqueness of Ethiopian coffee, from the growing systems to the diversity of varieties.
I had my own 'Yirgacheffe' moment with this coffee 5 years ago. I was brewing in one of Exeters few speciality shops and in the guest hopper was this incredible fruit bomb roasted by Andrew Tucker, then the head of coffee and head roaster at Clifton Coffee from Bristol. I may have tasted the occasional natural before but nothing like this. Super fruity and clean and if I search my memory banks I can still taste it. I recently mentioned this seminal coffee moment to some coffee folk at an event and they nodded in unison. Perhaps one day...