September's Roaster's Choice Coffee Box subscribers will be enjoying Bombe, a coffee from Ethiopia.
This coffee is named ‘Bombe’ after the mountainous region of the same name in Southern-Ethiopia. It is here where the majority of the smallholder farmers are located, who bring their cherry to the ‘Bombe’ washing station, hence the name.
The washing station promotes quality at every opportunity. Conscious decisions to produce quality not quantity mean that while the station produces less than its potential ca-pacity it can employ strict separation of lots that allow for multiple and varied testing of processing. This is overseen in part by agronomist Atkit Dejenel who draws on her experience at the world renowned, Gesha Village, to bring innovation to all stages of farming.
Peach Iced Tea
This particular lot employs a variation of the washed pro-cessing method called ‘dry fermentation’ which was inspired by Asefa Dukamo’s (Daye Bensa’s owner/man-ager) trip to visit farms in Guatemala. Whereas normal washed processing uses large amounts of water for slow fermentation of the coffee seed’s mucilage the ‘dry’ method uses controlled heat and significantly less water to kick start a faster fermentation which results in a richer tasting final cup.
A Guide To The Regions Of Ethiopia
Although the 6th largest coffee producer in the world, Ethiopia’s role in the history and discovery of coffee paired with its naturally perfect growing conditions and exceptional cup quality make it one of the most significant origins (if not the most significant) for coffee lovers around the world.
Although most coffee from Ethiopia is delicious and characteristically ‘Ethiopian’ in taste the sub-region have distinctive profiles of their own. Natural processing aside (this can vary a lot) the below is a guide for what to expect from washed coffees from three of the better known areas of Ethiopia.
Sidama and Yirgacheffe
Sidama and its sub-region Yirgacheffe in the south of the country produce probably the most well known and quintessential ‘Ethiopian’ flavour profile. Expect notes of tinned apricots, peaches, black tea and jasmine with bright bergamot acidity that can create an overall impression of floral, stone-fruity iced tea.
Further south again are the regions of Gedeo and Guji which, while still sharing the similar qualities of iced tea will often have less floral notes and can lean more towards berries and stewed fruit with rounder acidity and even chocolate and nougat type notes in the cup.
Jimma, in the country’s south-west is somewhat less prevalent in specialty coffee due to the large scale of commercial grade coffee produced there but there are pockets of exceptional quality here too. We find Jimma coffees to usually have lower acidity and great balance in the cup with a flavour profile that shares similarities to wine with it’s stewed fruit and rounder body.