Be prepared for a coffee ride of your life, thanks to experimental Anaerobic Natural processing, this high scoring coffee has sweet chocolate and strawberry notes for its aroma. The cup bursts flavors of chocolate, blackberry and zinfandel. In addition, this flavorful cup has stone fruit candied flavors of plum and apricot. You will taste the milk chocolate transition to a dark chocolate and caramel finish. As this Ethiopia cools, you will notice a touch of citrus spritzer flavor to brighten this cup. A coffee hosting a spectrum of flavors , each unique to every individual. This is a special micro lot coffee, with specific import markings and milling standards. Each lot is remarkably different and offers tremendous cupping nuances as a result of fermentation. Lots of fun and serious discussions in cupping here to offer you our take on what we taste as prevalent in the final cup, roasted at medium, cupped black, absolutely no additives.
HARVEST MONTHS: Low elevations: October - December
High Elevations: November - January
Farming methods in the region remain largely traditional. Yirgacheffe farmers typically intercrop their coffee plants with other food crops. This method is common among smallholders because it maximizes land use and provides food for their families.
In addition to remaining traditionally intercropped, most farms are also organic-by-default. Farmers in Yirgacheffe typically use very few—if any—fertilizers or pesticides. Most farm work is done manually by the immediate family. As more producers and washing stations enter specialty coffee, unique processing methods are a new way to stand out among the increasing number of sellers. One of those newer processing methods is anaerobic fermentation.
Let’s take a closer look
In general, anaerobic means oxygen-free. You might ask, how is this done with coffee where fermentation tanks are typically in open spaces? Answer: the coffee is placed into hermetically-sealed, stainless steel containers. Aside from yielding new, unexpected flavors, the anaerobic process provides a high level of control of the sugars, temperature, pressure, pH and time.
There are some facts we need to review before learning how this works. First of all, the flavor of the coffee fruit is concentrated in the juice, not the seeds. Coffee cherries are the fruit of the shrub and the sugars are contained in the mucilage. The concentration of sugars and flavors depends on the variety, ripeness of the fruit, and type of soil among other factors.
Now let’s move on to the process. First the coffee is de-pulped and the seeds are placed inside the fermentation tanks. The separated mucilage is then tightly packed into a gel-like consistency and added to the fermentation tank until it covers the entire parchment. As the fermentation begins the levels of O2 diminish and the CO2 increase, creating pressure in the fermentation tank. The process lasts between 18 to 23 hours – long enough for the mucilage to be consumed, but not so long that alcohol is produced. After 15 hours the pH needs to be constantly controlled to determine how the fermentation is progressing.
The pressure created by the CO2 allows the flavors of the coffee juices to be injected into the parchment. Once the fermentation has concluded the tanks are opened (carefully!!! Due to the high pressure). The coffee is then sun dried for at least 4 hours otherwise the fermentation might continue and the flavors would change. Sealed-tank fermentation for coffee is just one of a number of interesting innovations occurring on forward-thinking farms.
Further reading: https://rhoadsroast-coffees.com/blogs/blog/comforst-coffee-and-bitteryu-croissants