Our first 2023 crop from Ethiopia is a bit of a departure for us. Lately it’s all berry bombs and intense sweetness, but this grade 1 lot from the Biloya washing station represents a different side of the heirloom natural coin! Before coffees from this region were prized simply for their juicy, fruity intensity, they were also associated with earthy complexity. That’s a profile we commonly associate with coffee from Yemen, but it’s important to remember that the varieties grown in Yemen descended from the wild, heirloom varities of Ethiopia! So for fans of the classic “Mocca Java” blend (part Yemen Mocca and part Indonesian Java), this is a perfect substitute for the “Mocca” side of that equation.
That being said, earthy depth and complexity isn’t the whole story of this coffee. We also detected tasty raspberry jam, peach tea and demerara sugar along with graham cracker and just a touch of chocolate. It’s got a medium, tea like body that can be increased a bit with slightly darker roasting, but we liked it best when kept to just under a medium. This coffee represents a more traditional approach to natural processed coffee, this is a unique cup when enjoyed alone, this coffee is also an excellent way to add depth and musky complexity to any blend!
Reminder! This coffee is raw, you must roast it before brewing
Arrival Date: November 17th, 2023. US Arrival: Fall 2023
Acidity & Brightness: Mild acidity with gentle sweetness
Balance & Finish: Slightly complex with a slightly earthy finish
Body & Texture: Medium bodied, silky
Flavors: Raspberry jam, peach tea, graham cracker & demerara sugar
Grade: Grade 1 grown at 1800 - 2100 masl
Processing: Natural (dry) processed, sun dried on raised beds
Grower: Smallholder farms organized around Biloya washing station
Region: Yirga Chefe, Gedeo Zone, Ethiopia
Varieties: Indigenous heirloom cultivars
Recommended Roast Range: City to Full City (Light to medium)
Start at City (light) or just in to a rolling first crack and go a bit darker as desired. We find it best not to go any darker than Full City (Medium, after the end of first crack but before 2nd crack) and most folks will prefer a City + or at the tail end of first crack. Lighter roasts will have a bit more acidity and a tough of tea like florality while medium roasts will accentuate sugary tones and more rounded sweetness along with a touch more body.
Royal Coffee NY - "The washing station of Biloya resides in the area known as Yirgacheffe. The washing station accepts cherry from hundreds of neighboring small farmers that bring ripe cherry for the natural process coffee and get paid a premium for the quality delivered. The weather during harvest allows for optimal drying to produce exceptional coffee. After processing the coffee is sorted to remove excess defects to create a Grade 1 quality.”