I wonder how many of you who read this tasted our first delivery of a coffee from Misty Valley many, many years ago. We flew in Beloya and Misty Valley and it was eye-wateringly expensive but some of the best coffee I have experienced. Thankfully some 17 or so years later coffee has moved on, but I still get the same excitement from Misty Valley. If you welcome complex, floral, juicy, citric coffee that is more fruit cocktail than coffee-coffee, you too will be at home with this fab lot. This mill alone is world-famous for delivering some of the best natural processed coffees most of us have or will taste. (I love a big sweeping statement, don’t you?) The reality is that when you have tasted something really good, like a vintage claret from Haut Medoc, wine will never just be wine again. Buying from a single farmer is another level again.
Farmer: Mr. Bekeley Lagay
Farm Size: 10 hectares
Location: South of Golla washing station
Varietals: Dega, Kurume
Altitude (picking) 1950-2000 meters above sea level
Cup potential: Boozy, ripe red fruits. Floral (heady, sweet perfume like a Philadelphus) sweet citrus and pithy-grapefruit on the finish, particularly in espresso.
Filter: 60g/Litre and reducing as the brew gets bigger.
Espresso: Depending on your system, I would aim for a ratio of 1:2 for milk-based drinks. e.g. 17g in 34g out and for espresso, 17g in and up to 50g out. Because this is a light roast, don’t be afraid to extract it longer: late 20-mid 30-second range should be good.
The Gedeo zone in Yirgacheffe is often referred to as Misty Valley as the idyllic mist clouds veil the mountainous terrain in the cool of the morning. For me, there is no other combination of place and variety that can deliver a natural process coffee better than Ethiopia. Bang in the birthplace or heartland of coffee, there is something that just is not quite replicable anywhere else. Time is a big thing, processing coffees at altitude. Bekeley dries his naturals between 20 and 25 days. This would be a long time if the temperature was warmer. Gentler slower drying makes for sweeter, more complex coffee.