Your Coffee Subscription – September 2023

Dear coffee subscriber,

I am happy to say that we received the recent harvest from Ethiopia just in time for the September subscription. The natural processed coffees from Tatmara coffee plantation are a bit more subtle when it comes to the “fermented flavours” this year, probably due to more efficient drying, which means they almost taste more like a honey processed coffee.
I also included one of the real gems I found in Kenya this year, from the grower group Warenew.
A super intense and winey coffee with flavours notes of Norwegian forest berries.

I hope you will enjoy this month’s coffees as much as I do.

PS. For those of you who are not the biggest fans of natural processed coffees, I have some great news for you. To read more go to the info about the third bag.

Happy September from Tim & team.

Tatmara Coffee Plantation 74112 (1st and 4th bag)

Flavour notes: Mango, strawberries & floral 
Producer: Negussie Tadesse
Harvest: December 2022
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.

I often find that natural processed coffees have overpowering «funky» flavours of fermented fruit due to uncontrolled fermentation during drying. However, 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 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.

The coffees from the 2022/23 harvest have a much more subtle “natural processed” flavour profile than the previous harvests we have bought. I find them to be a bit more elegant but still with plenty of fruitiness in the cup. I believe it is due to the dry weather conditions during the harvest that made drying more efficient and also because Negussie has built more drying tables and has more drying capacity on the farm. It means that he can dry the coffee cherries in very thin layers on the raised beds which makes the cherries dry faster. A more efficient drying stops the spontaneous fermentation inside each coffee cherry before it can influence the flavour of the coffee too much. This makes the coffee taste less fermented and maybe more similar to a honey processed coffee.

Warenew (2nd & 5th bag)

Flavour notes: Winey, red berries & raisins
Producer: Several smallholder farmers
Harvest: December 2022
Origin: Embu, Kenya
Process: Washed
Cultivar: SL28 & Ruiru 11

Warenew is a company founded by a group of farmers who decided to start working together towards a common goal of increasing their production,  value and quality of their coffee. (It was during a visit to some of their members farms where I learned the planting technique that has been a huge success at our own biological coffee farm in Colombia, Finca el Suelo.)

The farms are all located around Embu, in altitudes ranging from 1300 – 1800 meters above sea level. The members / farmers are mainly growing the SL28 cultivar that is  famous for its fruity high quality cup profile, yet some of the farms located in the lower parts are also growing Ruiru 11 as it si tolerant to leaf rust and resistant to coffee berry disease, the two fungal diseases that are very common on coffee trees in Kenya.

The 2022/23 harvest is the best we have ever tasted from Warenew. The coffee is more intense and fruity than in previous years where it has been slightly more herbal, especially in the aftertaste. My impression in general is that the 2022/23 harvest in Kenya was the best in several years and buying coffees in Kenya this year was a real treat due to the overall high quality of the coffees.

Tatmara Coffee Plantation 74110 (3rd or 6th bag)

Flavour notes: Floral, tropical fruits & strawberries
Producer: Negussie Tadesse 
Harvest: December 2022
Origin: Dakiti, Kaffa, Ethiopia
Process: Natural
Cultivar: 74110

Like last year, we bought two different cultivars from Negussie, who is always separating his harvests by cultivars. The 74112 and 74110 are both  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.  If you subscribe to three or more bags I encourage you to taste them side by side to see if you can find the nuances and differences. 

PS. For those of you who are not the biggest fans of natural processed coffees, I have some great news for you. Last year we did a fund raiser during our 15 year anniversary and collected money that we have donated to Negussie in order to fund the construction of a new wet mill on his farm. The wet mill is now completed, and I am planning on visiting Negussie in October to see the first coffee from Tatmara being processed on the new wet mill. It means that in 2024 we will be getting some amounts of washed coffees from Tatmara too. I can’t wait to taste the results and to share these coffees with you.

Not yet a subscriber? Learn more about our coffee subscriptions

Shopping Basket
Scroll to Top