We are very excited to have this coffee. When we received this offer for the first time from our old friend Jamie from Nordic Approach - we thought that he was making fun of us, a kind of joke (what would be just normal). The coffee beans themselves looked very ugly, uneven in size, etc. That is what you could call “ground coffee”, or the leftover. Yes, being honest with you, the coffee beans themselves look kind of bad - this is what you can expect once you open the bag. BUT… As from our experience we had our lessons not to judge by the look or previous bad experiences, or general assumption - you have to give a chance. And it paid off for sure! I never had such a taste profile coffee from Ethiopia!!! Incredible! It has so intense aromas, that it reminds me of kid's perfume. One of those a la “Barbie '' perfumes for little girls (I have 2 daughters, just you know, why I have these associations) - with a strong artificial fruity fragrance. But for this coffee - in a good way.
The thing is, that it is very difficult to frame the taste notes for this coffee, as it is so diverse and unique. Hence we will let you do your own description. There is no right or wrong. Be open, creative, and share your findings with us.
For us, it is like listening to the Norwegian composer Nils Petter Molvær.
The goal was to create a different profile through increasing temperature, pressure, and volatility during a naturally occurring fermentation process. The result is bubble gum, tropical, crazy banana profile changing what we know as an Ethiopian profile.
This bag fermentation process in the higher altitudes creates very dense beans. Screen size is small due to the pressure that is created in the bag during fermentation as well as high altitude beans already being smaller originally.
We warn you, the coffee produced this way at the Adola Washing Station (They have big water treatment ponds. The water gets filtered from pond to pond) .does not look pretty, but it tastes great. Rather than handpick the coffee to remove all the less-than-gorgeous beans, they are left in because they give a different dimension to the coffee.
Bag fermentation. What does it mean?
Project manager Semeon Abay was very selective on the qualities used for this specific experiment: The cherries come from high altitudes, around 2000 masl, and they are floated and hand-sorted before we begin fermentation at the Adola washing station. The cherries are then stuffed into red polypropylene bags (like the ones farmers carry cherries in called polybag) filling them 3/4 full to not create additional pressure in the bag and to be able to stack them. Then these bags are stacked in piles of two on top of each other on a pallet (to create airflow under the pallet). Every 12 hours for five days the bags are rotated for pressure consistency (pH should not go below 3.8). So the bag on the bottom becomes the bag on the top. By restricting the air circulating the cherries, the development of lactic bacteria is increased, resulting in intense, fruity, and sweet coffees.