Super smooth and balanced with jammy Apricot and a lingering Raspberry finish.
Yes it's true, a honey processed coffee from the famous Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia. This is an experimental lot from the Qore mill owner Israel Degfa who owns another 4 mills in the Kochere area and is known for his commitment to quality and sustainability. The mill receives small amounts of cherries daily from a registered farmer group and Israel completely manages the supply chain and traceability. The lots are separated according to the days and areas of harvest as well as by process.
For this honey process the cherries are soaked in water to remove floaters before hand-sorting. After sorting the coffees are depulped before they get graded by density in the channels from the traditional Agarde disc pulper. It’s graded by density into 3 categories where only the first grades from the denser beans goes to the honey production. After pulping and grading the cherries still have a majority of the mucilage remaining much like a 'black honey' process from Central American producers. The sticky cherries are then spread out in a medium thick layer in the sun and dried slowly over the next few days with minimal movement, being covered up over-night. After the first days they start to move the sticky mucilage covered parchment and break up any clumps. The parchment is dried for about 20 days on the raised beds and the workers continue sorting the defects during this drying period.
The difference that the honey process adds over it's washed equivalent is typically an increased body and sweetness whilst maintaining a clarity. This coffee shows all those sweet stone fruits characteristics we desire from a Yirgacheffe with the addition of a creamy body and a lovely Raspberry lingering finish.
Israel has invested in a modern warehouse and dry mill in Addis as well as a very high tech colour sorter and QC lab. A political shift in 2017 meant that producers like Israel have been able to shift their focus on quality and traceability with lot separations and also deal directly with importers such as Nordic Approach. The result is increased traceability and quality which benefits both Nordic Approach who source the coffee, me as a roaster and ultimately you as the drinker.
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.
One of the frequent questions we get asked is if the coffee we buy is ethically sourced. Here's a little statement by our sourcing partner Nordic Approach which explains their approach.
"We are generally trying to source beautiful coffees by building projects and buying programs with our producers and suppliers. We do this through active groundwork at origin. You will see that in the producer profile for many of our coffees. These relationships have to be developed over time in cooperation with the farmers, producers, wet-mill owners, cooperatives and exporters. We have a clear vision of how we want to work and what coffees we are looking for -- we are very strict on quality control and our coffee selection. If you expect producers to invest in quality, then the normal commercial coffee prices are way too low. The proof is in the cup, and we will always pay good premiums to the growers and suppliers for great coffees. We see this as a three-way partnership: between the producer, Nordic Approach, and the roasters. Everyone has to benefit over time if it is to work and be sustainable"