Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Natural
Often, I love a straightforward coffee that stays true to its initial tasting notes, even as it cools. It sounds silly but having a bit of “uncomplicated” coffee helps me build a comforting routine each morning in what feels like a bit of chaos (or, perhaps, it just feels that way until I get that first cup into my brain). And while I often reach for these comforting coffees, it seems like the ones that I am most drawn to, however, are the ones that have a bit more complexity to them. Comforting coffees are delicious, but it’s the more nuanced coffees that pull me deeper into the experience itself. And nowhere does the complexity of coffee show up more so than in Ethiopian coffees. Especially naturally processed Ethiopian coffees. Especially naturally processed Ethiopian coffees that taste like washed process Ethiopian coffees.
This latest offering from our friends at Café Imports is such a coffee. At first pass you can taste some jasmine florals mixed in with some tart, fresh blueberry- and then as the experience cools you get some really lovely and viscous sweet notes like caramel, toffee, and fig. It feels too easy in that you can probably throw a dart on the flavor wheel and wherever it lands you can probably find a hint of it in this coffee.
The complexity of Ethiopian coffee extends beyond the flavor profile in the cup. The Ethiopian coffee sector seems to be constantly iterating on itself. A few years ago, getting a farmer-specific lot like this from Mrs. Zenebech Ageze was unheard of. Now the country seems to be handing out individual export licenses freely. The move towards farmer-specific lots is less about a trend towards transparency than it is about rising inflation, a three-year long civil war, and an acute USD crisis that is specific to Ethiopia itself. (For a great write up explaining how all of these factors relate to each other, check out Café Imports’ article here). On one hand, most in the specialty coffee sector love to see more transparency of where their coffee is coming from. On the other hand, you have to ask the question; who is benefiting from the move and what are the downstream effects? Complexity everywhere.
While there is a space for more straightforward and comforting coffees, the sort of “harder work” of digging into complexity, whether it is a flavor profile or the downstream effects of a global economy, brings its own kind of comfort; namely, that the chaos doesn’t seem nearly as chaotic. There are reasons for the flavors that we are tasting just as there are reasons for the coffees to be more or less expensive. There are reasons we know where certain coffees are grown – and there are reasons why, historically speaking, we haven’t known that up until now.
- Roasting Schedule: We roast every Tuesday and Deliver/Ship every Wednesday. All orders must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Mondays to ensure delivery during the current week.