First Published - May 22, 2013
It boasts a heavenly fruited dry fragrance with vanilla sweetness. The wet aroma is sweet like honey and the cup has notes of fresh hay with chocolate – the Yirgacheffe district produces some of the most exotic coffee in Africa. This is one of the most distinctive we’ve found, with sweet dried strawberry emerging as the temperature cools.
Where this particular coffee differs from other Yirgacheffe coffees is in the drying, as it’s very simply treated. The natural process is the most rudimentary method of processing: traditional dry-processed coffees are not pre-sorted after picking and tend to be sun-dried in a what could be seen as a haphazard fashion. Having worked with Konga Cooperative since 2003 for our washed Yirgacheffe, we are very happy to offer this very special “natural” preparation.
At the beginning of the season a small number of farmers are chosen who have the capacity to select and deliver perfectly ripe coffee cherries to see central mill facility at Konga. The cherries are immediately resorted to remove any imperfections and the whole coffee cherries are carefully dried in the sun on shallow square wooden trays for up to 21 days as they gradually darken and to dry out to resemble a dried cranberry or real cherry. The cherries continue to be hand sorted throughout their drying stage and then hulled in a dry mill to prepare for export.
The sweetness from the cherry fruit is absorbed by the bean which intensifies the syrupy pulpiness and produces a cup that is sweet, full-bodied, distinctive and irresistible. We think the result is outstanding.
— FreeState Coffee (@FreeStateCoffee) March 1, 2013
How to serve
As an espresso: tastes of blueberry and tangy sweet lemon sherbet with a milk chocolate base
With milk: presents as a chocolate truffle, a soft centre with strawberry and tea rose
Makes us think about
- Old-fashioned sweet shops. Their dark wood shelves are crammed tight with tall glass jars of lemon sherbets, strawberry bonbons and of course, thick slabs of milk chocolate
- A thick slice of Gail’s Bakery’s San Francisco style sourdough bread slathered in David Lebovitz’s Bergamot marmalade
- A classic blueberry muffin to go with your coffee, try Ina Garten’s recipe
Discover the beans
Konga Natural, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia. Exclusive Microlot.
Vanilla and honey, fresh hay, chocolate, sweet dried strawberry emerging
Varietal – mixed heirloom cultivars
Process – natural, sun-dried
Photo from TJ Blackwell‘s Flickr stream under a Creative Commons licence