Your Coffee Subscription – September 2021

Dear coffee subscribers,
September is here and we have officially entered the Fall season. Here in Oslo it seems like we will be keeping the warm summer temperatures for a bit longer which is perfect as the container with coffee from Ethiopia just arrived. 

This month I have picked out three coffees from Ethiopia, two of them come from the farm Fahem located in Limmu Seka. They are both washed and have a floral taste with hints of sweet citrus and stone fruits. The third coffee we are sending out is a natural processed coffee from the farm Tatmara, near Bonga in Kaffa. The natural process gives the coffee a more pronounced fruity taste of fermented fruits or almost over ripe fruit. I tend not to be the biggest fan of naturals, but I am really liking how delicate this Tatmara is tasting. I hope you like it too.

Fahem 74148 (1st & 4th bag)
Flavour notes: Floral, sweet citrus & stone fruit
Producer: Mohammed Lalo
Harvest: December 2020
Origin: Atnago, Limmu Seka, Ethiopia
Process: Washed
Cultivar: 74148

When I started looking for farms to buy from in Ethiopia, everyone told me to go to the southern part of the coffee-growing areas and although I really like the coffees from Sidama, Yirgacheffe and Guji my all time favourite coffees from Ethiopia were all grown further west like in the Jimma, Kaffa and Limmu areas. I have always found the coffees there to be very diverse in flavour profiles even though a lot of the farms are growing similar cultivars, so that is why I decided to focus my time in the south-west when I started looking for farms to buy from.

The washed coffees from Fahem is quite different to the typical Ethiopian Sidamo / Yirgacheffe coffees with a slight more delicate flavour profile. There are also subtle nuances between the 74110 and 74148 cultivars that they separate for us on this farm. This year the 74148 is tasting a bit more open with peach-like stone fruit flavours with subtle floral and sweet citrus flavours. On the nose I sometimes can get a herbal minty character as well.

These coffees are really delicate and pretty and a lot of times our guests will say it tastes like tea. Personally I prefer to brew them slightly weaker than normal to be able to enjoy the “tea like” flavours even more. I often dose a few grams less than I normally do with a coffee and keep the same grind setting to ensure I have a good extraction. This coffee is best drunk at a lukewarm temperature and can also work really well as an iced coffee. And remember, it is not the coffee that tastes like tea, it’s the flavoured tea that tastes like delicious Ethiopian coffee…There are a few different cultivars planted at Fahem but they are mainly producing the 74110 and 74148 cultivars. Normally they will pick and mix these cultivars together, but for us they are picking, processing and drying these coffees separately as we like to taste the different nuances in each cultivar.

Both 74110 and 74148 cultivars are selections made by the Jimma Agricultural Research Center (JARC) and although they have very similar qualities, there are some subtle nuances in the flavour profile. The two cultivars begin with the number “74”  that indicates their cataloging and selection in 1974.

The 74148 cultivar was selected from an original “mother tree” in the Bishari village of the Metu Province in the Illuababora zone and also shows resistance to coffee berry disease and has good yield potential. It has mainly been planted in the southwestern coffee-growing areas of Ethiopia.

Tatmara Coffee Plantation (2nd & 5th bag)
Flavour notes: Pineapple, strawberries & tropical fruits
Producer: Negussie Tadesse 
Harvest: December 2020
Origin: Dakiti, Kaffa, Ethiopia
Process: Natural
Cultivar: 74112

Tatmara is one of the most beautiful coffee plantations I have ever been to. The coffee grows inside a native forest full of old native trees, spice plants, shrubs and wildlife. Negussie does not apply any mineral fertilisers or agrochemicals to his farm and weed control is done manually. Still the trees are healthy and producing well which is most likely due to the healthy forest soils that are rich in soil biology that provide the trees with nutrients. I personally believe that these coffees are so complex, full of flavour and easy to extract not only because of the cultivar that are grown but because they grow slowly under shade trees in very healthy soils in their native environment. (After all the arabica coffee trees are native to the forests of Kaffa. ) 

Of course the natural process also contributes with extra fruity flavours and as you may know I am normally not the biggest fan of natural processed coffees. This is because they are really difficult to produce well, especially in regions that have rain showers during the harvest,  and I  often find that natural processed coffees have overpowering «funky» flavours of fermented fruit due to uncontrolled fermentation during drying.  If not produced well I also often find a peanutty flavour in the aftertaste that can come from uneven ripeness of the cherries. 

Having said that, I do like very clean and precise natural processed coffees and when done well with the right cultivars they can taste very juicy and fruity in a refreshing way. The coffees from Tatmara is a good example of a natural processed coffee that I really like. Negussie has been trained really well by the Belco team on how to process and dry the coffees and the results is a really clean and tasty natural processed coffee with ripe flavours of tropical fruits and strawberries.

Fahem 74110 (3rd & 6th bag)
Flavour notes: Floral, sweet citrus & peach
Producer: Mohammed Lalo
Harvest: December 2020
Origin: Atnago, Limmu Seka, Ethiopia
Process: Washed
Cultivar: 74110

The 74110 cultivar was selected from an original “mother tree” in the Bishari village of the Metu Province in the Illuababora zone. After research in their field laboratory (coffee farm) in Jimma,  the JARC researchers found the cultivar to be resistant to coffee berry disease and to have a high yield potential. JARC released the cultivar in 1979 as a new and improved cultivar and since then it has become one of the most popular cultivars in Ethiopia known for its floral and citric flavour profile.

Thanks for reading and as always, we hope you enjoy the coffees and learning from our monthly videos. If you need some brewing tips, visit our website.
I hope you will enjoy the coffees 
Tim W

Scroll to Top