Mmmm, tastes like Blueberries!
Last week a regular at our shop asked me, "how do you get that blueberry note in coffee?" I have heard this before, and no doubt the coffee they are referring to is a natural Ethiopia. This is the time of year when we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of these coffee's. The harvest in Ethiopia begins in the fall and wraps up in the winter months. The coffee arrives here on boats in shipping containers late spring and into the summer. First we start to see the washed coffees arrive, followed by the naturals.
Our first Ethiopia offering of the season is called Limu Gera, it's a washed coffee from SW Ethiopia, near the city of Jimma. Washed means the fresh picked cherry is sent through a depulper, soaked in tanks for 1-2 days to help loosen the mucilage that remains sticking to the parchment and seed (bean), and then it's washed free of all the mucilage and laid out to dry in the parchment protective layer. Washed Ethiopian coffee's are prized for their bright acidity, floral characteristics, as well as citrus notes.
As naturals begin to arrive late spring/early summer we are eager to select one that will be sure to please with that stunning blueberry note. Natural process, just to be clear, means that the coffee is picked and then laid out to dry in the cherry. Once it is dried, the seed (bean) is removed from the dried layers surrounding it (parchment, mucilage, and skin). Naturals tend to have a very nice berry characteristic as well as a fuller body. Ethiopia naturals are in a league of their own, especially the best ones. Keep your eyes peeled this summer!