It was our favorite coffee of the 2017 season. We weren't able to get it last year, but we are so excited to have it back for 2019!
It is being marketed and officially labeled as a Yirgacheffe, but in truth, it is grown too far south to be Yirgacheffe and doesn't share many attributes with a Yirgacheffe. This is a brand new fair trade organic co-op from a previously undeveloped region south of Yirgacheffe. The co-op's name is Halo Bariti, and has only been in existence since 2012. The members of the co-op own their own land and can boast that they have the highest altitude to work with in the entire country of Ethiopia (4800 to 6800 feet above sea level). It's an area where wild, heirloom coffee grows naturally, and even though this co-op is cultivating the coffee plants for commercial sale, they still grow heirloom varietals native to their land, some of which aren't grown anywhere else in the world. It's not a cheap coffee, but it still seems like a value. This is one of those co-ops which will quickly make a name for themselves and likely command higher prices within a few years.
This is a natural (dry) process coffee and so we are roasting it lightly -- barely even out of the 1st cracks. We can get away with that because the coffee is less acidic and has a thicker body than you would expect in a natural Ethiopian. It doesn't seem to matter if you roast it slow or too fast or if you air roast it or drum roast it. It doesn't matter if you get it a few degrees too dark. It's just good coffee.
There isn't much not to like about this coffee. First of all, even though its grade 3, it seems like it could have easily sold as grade 2. Really nice quality here and roasts up evenly. Another thing to note is that it doesn't have as much of the citrus notes usually associated with coffees sold under the Yirgacheffe name. Instead, the fruity flavor here is blueberry. Jammy, smooth, creamy, very sweet (a little tart if you underroast it), aromatic, no earthiness or fermented notes whatsoever. Everything about this coffee is enjoyable, from the appearance and aroma of the green coffee, to the aroma while it roasts, to chewing on a bean hot out of the roaster, the blueberry jam aroma while grinding it, the sweetness and fruitiness of the taste and the creamy texture of the coffee itself. You're going to like this one.
US Arrival September 2019