Natural process coffees from Ethiopia are unique and vibrant in flavour profile with terroir and process playing an equal role in delivering this full on experience. The Yirgacheffe region has a diversity of indigenous coffee varieties that make its coffee taste like no other. Since most coffee producers in the region are very small, own a couple of hectares of land on average, and have different cultivars or landraces on their farm, almost all lots will be made up of cherries from hundreds of producers from a number of different varieties. This is one such coffee which was grown and harvested by producers in and around the renowned town of Banko Gotiti
In terms of processing the method has more similarity to that of other growing regions. Ripe cherries are delivered to the processing station. After sorting into different qualities, the fruit is then carefully dried on raised beds - with the staggering altitude of this part of the Ethiopia the cool Sub-Saharan climate allows for optimum two to three-week drying times. Natural coffees then need to rest to reduce astringency and improve the cup quality before being milled a minimum of two months after picking. This is part of the reason natural Ethiopian coffees always arrive on our menu after washed process coffees.
The mixed bag of local landraces in Yirgacheffe coffees leads to complex flavour profiles and one flavour characteristic that often leads the way is blueberry. This is very much the case with Banko Gotiti where blueberry berry fruit sits harmoniously heady violet florals and sweet candied lemon citrus acidity. The berry fruit profile is refined and less boozy than some from the region, allowing for further flavours of raspberry and cacao nib to become present on cooling. The mouthfeel is syrup like and finish wine-like.
We have kept the filter roast light to preserve the clarity of cup and let the ripe fruit flavours roll out. It works very well as a filter brew where the violet florals and blueberry shine, with a grape like acidity adding delicious structure to the brew. Aeropress and French press bring a more viscous brew where the blueberry, raspberry, and cacao nib come through.