Ethiopia Sidama Kokose Natural
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Sparkling blueberries, roses and chocolates
Seated in the highlands of Kokose in Bensa Sidama, this area has one of the highest elevation of coffee growing in the region at 2,300m. The wonderful flavour profiles associated with the effects of high altitude are clear in this coffee - smaller and denser beans, sweetness, fruity acidity. The classic notes of blueberry is also palpable in this coffee. The Kokose Village has about 500 smallholders, with each having 1-2 hectares of coffee farmland.
The deep volcanic soils of Sidama adds complexity and texture to this coffee. In Sidama, the cultivation method remains traditional without the excess of modern fertilizers and pesticides, making it a conventional organic coffee. Processing is likewise very traditional - always on African raised beds, promoting faster and more even drying for about 2 to 3 weeks, and preserving the intrinsic sweet and floral notes of the coffee.
Sidama is best enjoyed for its good body and berry notes. Washed Sidama is preferred to highlight the characteristic fruitiness. Our coffee is done in the natural process, allowing us to showcase the good body that accompanies the natural process against the backdrop of its fruitiness. This coffee is exceptionally clean for a natural process coffee.
Sidama coffee, like all coffees in Ethiopia, is called heirloom as a form of respect to its status being the venerable earliest form of arabica coffee. In fact, it is more correctly referred to as local landraces, which are wild forms undergoing domestication and yet to stabilise into a cultivar. This means the genes are diverse and their distribution is sporadic, giving rise to a spectrum of flavour profiles from area to area, farm to farm and even within the farm. It was estimated that there are 10,000 to 15,000 heirloom varieties. The Jimma Agricultural Research Centre (JARC) has also thrown into the mix their developed varieties, about forty of them comprising of pure line selections and some hybrids. These JARC varieties are freely planted alongside the heirlooms, further widening opportunities for natural crosses and mutation. Ethiopia coffee forests and farmlands are like a natural genetic bank of arabica coffee. It is then no surprise that we are treated with a galore of complex enzymatic fruity and floral flavours.
Our coffee is from Elto Coffee Export, founded by Bensa based couple who both have university degrees. Eliyas graduated with a Bsc in Marketing Management and is the Operations Manager in Daye Bensa Coffee. Atiklit graduated with a BSc in Agriculture focused on Plant Science, and works in Gesha Village as Coffee Processing Manager as well as in Daye Bensa Coffee as Lab Manager for Microlot Processing.
We have chosen to roast this coffee light to highlight its many fruity characteristics, but long enough to reduce the acidity in its aftertaste such that it is enjoyable and comforting without sharp acidity or astringency from start to end.
On the Timemore Crystal Ice V60 using Cafec TH-1 paper at grind size 770 µm, we got a cup that starts with blueberries and slowly changing to a perfumy experience of rose and hibiscus against some notes of milk cocolate. We felt that the sweet juicy acidity shines through the more it cools. Aftertaste is medium and balanced. This is our recipe, brewed at 90°C using our own water recipe:
15.5g for 250ml
0-15 sec: Pour 50g water
45-75 sec: Add 150g
100-115 sec: Add 50g
Last quarter, we featured the Bensa Shentaweni coffee which has sold out. Comparing the two, Kokose displays more classic Ethiopian characteristics of berries and flowers. This could be due to its very high elevation at 2,300m. The Shanteweni located at 1,950m shares these notes with some warm spices like cinnamon.