Ethiopia Sidama Bensa Keramo Washed
The Bombe mountains produce some of the most flavor dense coffees of anywhere in Ethiopia. This washed selection from the tiny village of Keramo proves that washed Ethiopian coffee doesn't have to be one-dimensional. It's dynamic and full of flavor with notes of juicy mandarin orange, ripe peach, candied ginger, key lime and elderflower.
The Bombe mountains get a lot of attention for producing incredible, intense natural processed coffees. But how about fully washed coffees? Well it should come as no surprise that they’re incredible too. A few years back the sourcing team at Catalyst Trade noticed that one village in particular produced washed coffee that was uniquely flavor dense. So they started processing them separately from neighboring villages’ harvests and we are so they did!
If you think washed Ethiopian coffee is all delicate body and gentle florals, think again. This cup is packed with flavor. It’s got sparkling brightness, excellent balance and a super clean finish. In the cup we noted juicy mandarin orange, ripe peach, key lime, candied ginger and a hint of elderflower. Easily the best fully washed Ethiopian coffee we’ve had in recent memory. And that’s saying a lot coming from diehard natural processed fans!
Reminder! This coffee is raw, you must roast it before brewing
Arrival Date: December 23rd, 2022. Harvest year: 2022, packed in GrainPro
Acidity & Brightness: Sparkling brightness and moderate sweetness
Balance & Finish: Very balanced and very clean finish
Body & Texture: Medium-bodied and silky texture
Flavors: Ginger candy, mandarin orange, ripe peach, key lime & elderflower tonic
Grade: Grade 1, grown at 1,950 to 2,150 masl
Processing: Fully washed (wet) processed
Grower: Smallholder farmers surrounding Keramo Village
Region: Keramo village, Bensa District, Sidama Zone, Ethiopia
Varietals: 74110, 74158 and local varieties Setami, Mekicho
Recommended Roast Range: City to Full City (Light to medium)
Start at City (light) or just about 30 seconds into rolling first crack. From there, go a bit darker if desired, but we find it best not to go any darker than Full City (Medium or after the end of first crack and before 2nd crack starts). Most folks will prefer a City + or at the tail end of first crack. Lighter roasts will have more zesty, citrus acidity while medium roasts will accentuate a touch more body and rounded sweetness. Longer rest times are recommended (72+ hours) for optimal brewing performance.
Catalyst Trade - “Keramo, high in the beautiful Bombe mountains in Bensa, Sidama, is so remote that the area does not have its own central washing station, so producers bring their cherries to neighboring washing stations for processing, which results in some fun crossovers with other local districts.
Our first encounter with the unique terroir of coffees from Keramo was during the 2015-16 harvests when we purchased them as mixed lots, all sold under the name of neighboring village Shantawene (itself an area that produces amazing coffee). We began noticing different cup dynamics from the cherries that came from different areas, and eventually began to isolate coffees by village. This led us on a journey to get even more isolation in the lots, which continues even today as this coffee was processed on the same site as our Modor Shantawene using cherries brought from Keramo-area smallholder producers. It’s a fun continuation for us of a journey which allowed us to introduce Keramo coffees to the coffee- drinking world at large, and see them very successful.
These coffees continue to stand out as a team favorite on the cupping table. It is a dense coffee, with heavy concentrations of the smaller screen sizes, which is highly unusual and reflects the higher elevations where the coffee is grown.”