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Your Coffee Subscription – Oct 2019

Dear Coffee Subscribers,

In this month’s episode of Coffee Subscription Tasting with Friends, I’m joined by our returning barista Julian Cummings, who has just moved back to Oslo from Tromsø. Join us to find out things like:

– what are this month’s coffees   
– how to brew using the aeropress method (see detailed instructions here)
– what is a washed processed coffee?
– what is a natural processed coffee?
– which of these coffees is ideal for the coming autumn season?
– how did I first find these farms to work with?
– do I prefer west or south Ethiopian coffees?
– what’s a full immersion brew?


Filter & Espresso

Fahem Washed, Ethiopia 1 bag 

Producer: Mohammed Lalo
Harvest: December 2018
Origin: Atnago, Limmu Seka, Ethiopia
Cultivar: 74110+74148
Process: Washed
Flavour notes: Rhubarb, tropical fruits, floral

In an attempt to find a farm or two we could start working with more closely (like do in Central-America and Colombia) in order to improve the coffee qualities we buy from in Ethiopia, I went on a trip in December 2018 to visit a handful of farms in the western part of Ethiopia. Out of those visits we ended up buying from three different farms where Fahem is the biggest one of them.

At Fahem I was visiting with Semeon Abay, who now works for Tropiq, Ethiopia and Hayatudin Jamal who works for Fahem and Mohammed Lalo. I was quite impressed with the infrastructure on the farm and also how they had planted varieties separate from each other and kept the natural forest canopy over the coffee trees. However I still saw huge potential for improving the coffee quality on the farm and potential for producing a good amount of very high quality coffee. I asked Hayatudin if they were willing to follow my suggested processing and drying protocol and produce 50 bags of coffee for me. I would of course commit to buying the 50 bags of that coffee. Hayatudin agreed and I asked Semeon if he could help me with quality controlling the picking and processing and help Hayatudin and his team produce the coffee in the way I had specified.

We managed to produce four different lots in total where two were natural processed and two washed coffees, all separated by variety. Unfortunately we bumped in to some challenges with shipping and logistics, but at least we managed to get most of the coffees to Norway in good condition. I really loved how the washed coffees turned out and think they are quite different from the typical coffees you will find further south in Ethiopia, like near Yirgacheffe. The coffees from the west have always appealed to me and this one is no exception with loads of tropical fruit notes but still with very floral characteristics.

Fahem Natural, Kenya 2 bags

Producer: Mohammed Lalo
Harvest: December 2018
Origin: Atnago, Limmu Seka, Ethiopia
Cultivar: 74110+74148
Process: Natural
Flavour notes:
Strawberies, stone fruit, floral

This is the natural processed version of the Fahem coffee above.

Caballero Catuaí, Honduras 3 bags

Producer: Marysabel Caballero & Moises Herrera
Harvest: February – March 2019
Origin: Chinacla, La Paz, Honduras
Cultivar: Catuaí
Process: Washed
Flavour notes: Milk chocolate, plums & dried fruit

The 2019 harvest from Moises and Marysabel is in my opinion the best one we have ever tasted from them. Especially the Catuaí coffees were really sweet, with a rich mouthfeel. It is the first time ever that I only bought coffees that scored 86,5 – 87,5 points of this cultivar from them. Although they produce a lot of this cultivar of coffee, not all lots are produced the same way. Some are dried on patios and others in mechanical driers or on raised beds under shade. Over the years I have developed a protocol in cooperation with Moises and Marysabel on how to separate, process and especially dry and store the coffees and during the last 4-5 years they have been producing a lot of Catuaí coffees especially for us to choose from. This means that all the lots we buy are dried on raised beds in shade and are hand sorted and milled with extreme care and attention. It really makes a difference in the final cup. In fact Moises was the one who let me experiment with shade dried coffee in the first place and we found that the green coffee will stay fresh for a longer time and taste much cleaner than the patio or mechanically dried coffees they produce.


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