Koke Natural, Ethiopia
Look for lemon zest, mixed berries, milk chocolate when roasted for filter; Anticipate notes of blackberries, dark chocolate and molasses with a sweet and long aftertaste when roasting for espresso.
Producer: Various smallholder coffee producers
Variety: Indigenous Heirloom
Elevation: 1870- 1900 masl
Koke washing station is located in Yirgacheffe district, Gedeo zone, in the Eastern Highlands of Ethiopia. Over the years, Yirgacheffe has developed a distinguished reputation for excellent coffees, producing some of the most sought-after microlots in the world. The combination of high altitude (up to 2,200 masl in some areas), fertile soil, consistent and plentiful rains, and an abundance of local and cultural knowledge are all contributing factors to the high status of Yirgacheffe coffees; Coffee has been cultivated here since the 8th century after all. The indigenous ‘heirloom’ varieties -Kumie, Diga and Wilsho- which grow wild , in the shade of Cordia and Acacia trees in Ethiopia, are responsible for the unique flavour notes which make for an unusual but refined cup.
The washing station processes cherries from local smallholder coffee producers in the region .
Shade grown cherries are delivered to the mill for careful sorting, to select only the ripest. The cherries are then fermented in sealed tanks for 96 hours. The tanks are impenetrable by other organisms and air, and the process is called anaerobic processing. Once the cherries have fermented, they are removed from the tanks and then dried in the sun on raised beds for up to 21 days. During daylight hours, the coffee is turned periodically to ensure consistent drying. The cherries are covered between 12pm and 3pm to protect them from sun damage and at night time to protect them from rainfall and moisture. Once the coffee has dried to around 10%moisture, it is milled, graded, sorted and thoroughly handpicked, before being bagged for export from the port of Djibouti.
You may notice that the colour of this unroasted coffee is not green, but has an orange hue to it. This is caused by the anaerobic fermentation, and then natural drying process. This coffee is truly exceptional, and intense in its flavour; a treasure trove of delicious berries, citrus, chocolate notes.
As this bean is quite small and has a low density and moisture content, a gentle approach in heat application is best for this filter roast recipe. The slower, more gradual application of heat, allows for even drying and colour up until first crack. The peak temperature of 257˚C is right at first crack. Once the coffee enters the development stage, the temperature gradually decreases until the end of the roast. This recipe results in 6 minutes and 20 seconds of total roasting time, with 1 minute and 30 seconds spent in the development stage. Expect lots of citrus, mixed berries and chocolate flavours, with an intensely sweet finish.
The espresso recipe for this coffee is very similar in approach as the filter recipe, however the application of heat is slightly steeper at the beginning of the roast. Once the coffee begins to change colour, the application of heat becomes more gradual and mimics that of the filter recipe. The peak temperature is 260˚C at 4 minutes and 30 seconds which coincides with the first crack. Once the coffee enters the development stage, the temperature gradually decreases until the end of the roast. This recipe results in 7 minutes of total roasting time, with 2 minutes and 30 seconds spent in the development stage. Look for notes of blackberries, dark chocolate, and molasses with an long and lingering finish.