Episode 611: Ethiopia Ayehu Natural

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By Stephen Leighton. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

We've seen some excitingly varied coffees from Ethiopia, but as varied as they are they've often come from a pretty small region - Yirgacheffe and Sidamo in the south. The coffees produced there are fantastic and one of the three major growing areas (along with Harrar in the East and Ghimbi in the West), but we were really excited to try this coffee, grown in the Amhara region in northern Ethiopia.

It's not actually the first time we've had a coffee from this region - for those of you with a long memory, we had the Lake Tana Natural way back in 2009! However, we haven't seen anything really from the region since, so we're excited to share this one with you.

Ayehu Farm is a 500-hectare single estate situated at 1,750masl. It's located in the Western Gojjam area, whose northern border is Lake Tana (map)

It's also an unusual varietal for Ethiopia - K7. This is a varietal we normally see planted on farms in Tanzania or Kenya (Kiriga Estate has a little bit of K7). It was originally released in Kenya in 1936 after being picked out from the famous French Mission selective program at Scott Labs. Find out more information about K7 at WorldCoffeeResearch.org here.

This coffee was dried slowly in the sun on raised African beds for 18 days, turned periodically to ensure even drying and prevent over-fermentation.

In the cup I get a really sweet green mango, with an edge of dark chocolate to it. As it cools a little, you get lemon rind joining it on the finish, along with a treacle flavour that carries on to the aftertaste.

  • Country: Ethiopia
  • Region: Amhara, Western Gojam
  • Farm: Ayehu
  • Farm size: 500-hectares
  • Varietal: K1
  • Drying method: Raised African beds
  • Drying time: 18-days
  • Processing method: Natural
  • Altitude: 1,750 m.a.s.l.
  • Soil: Sandy loam to clay loam
CUPPING NOTES Green mango, dark chocolate, lemon rind, treacle

Clean cup: (1–8): 6Sweetness: (1–8): 6.5Acidity: (1–8): 6.5Mouthfeel: (1–8): 6Flavour: (1–8): 7Aftertaste: (1–8): 6.5Balance: (1–8): 6Overall: (1–8): 6.5Correction:(+36): +36

Total (max. 100): 87

Roast InformationMedium-dark - this roasts more like a Tanzanian or Burundi Natural than an Ethiopian, so you may need to take it quite hot to get it to the edge of second gap where the flavours will really sing.

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