I am super excited to introduce you to this month's Magic Seeds, a washed process coffee from Ethiopia's Wate Musuka washing station. I have plenty to say about that, but first let's take a look at our Daily Drinker. This month we have the wonderful opportunity to taste two great coffees from the same country, but also to see what makes one exceptional.
Your October Daily Drinker comes from the village of Bombe in the Sidama region of Ethiopia. It comes from the 375 small holder farmers who contribute to the Testi Ayala washing station. These farmers are growing primarily the Mikicho and Setami varieties, both of which are local heirlooms.
Washed Ethiopians are some of my favorite coffees and what I would call my coffee "first loves." This is fitting, as this is where coffee originally comes from. Typically, these coffees are bright and sweet. This one, from Bombe's Testi Ayala station, initially tastes of stone fruit, specifically ripe peach and apricot. As it cools it takes on flavors of honey and wild raspberry.
sorting coffee cherry at the Testi Ayala Station
This month's Magic Seeds comes from a collection of small farms contributing to the Wate Musuka washing station in the village of Uraga. This is only the second year of production for the station, established by Tesfaye Bekele and Genet Shibiru. Tesfaye and Genet are well known for their other mill, Suke Quto. They established this new mill to support the increasing coffee production along the Guji/Yirgacheffe boarder, as a result of climate change. Since many of the producers in this area are new to coffee, they are focusing on establishing a foundation of sustainability and quality-driven farming practices.
As with the Daily Drinker, in this cup you will see honey and wild raspberry flavors, but in a slightly different expression. When I say that washed Ethiopians were my first loves, I specifically mean those of the Yirgacheffe region. The memories of those first few cups define the style to us. When I first tasted this coffee it brought all those memories back, but in a whole new way. In this style I am looking for sweet lemon candy and jasmine tea, which this coffee has right off the bat. Cooling, it picks up notes honey and the citrus turns more toward bergamot oil, like a fine Earl Grey tea paired perfectly with the sweetness of a buttery shortbread. Fully cooled, I was surprised by the taste of vibrant, juicy wild raspberries, exactly like the ones my grandfather cultivated in his backyard.
the hills beyond the raised beds at Testi Ayala
Your October and November boxes are extra special, as we they will feature coffees from some of these same farmers, but with a very different expression. We are very excited to be able to feature these offerings back-to-back in this way.
We hope that you have loved this month's Magic Seeds and look forward to sharing another exceptional experience with you next month.
images provided by Café Imports