New Crop 2021
Somehow, through a horrific set of circumstances, coffee from Ethiopia is getting out of Djibouti in the most efficient way ever. Some seasons, we have the luxury of deliveries over a 6 month period. This year there is a race to export, to just get as much of the value of the coffee crop out before the social melt-down further persists. This is hugely sad and worrying on many levels. On a semi-related note, Djibouti is much more frequently passed by container ships than Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). I have coffee waiting there, like a kid who missed the bus two months ago.
For an age, (in relative terms) we have been roasting Organic coffee. I am going to stick my neck out and say that Organic is going to be the future, before the end of mass consumption of everything. There is no point in making a sweeping generalisation, without making it a whopper! When you drink this coffee you can be sure the soil was clean, because we know the source. The likelihood of any residues being in the soil is minuscule as this area has been forest for millennia.
This coffee is more than a single farm, Suke is legend and legacy all in one, all from the cradle of coffee.
Name: Suke Quto Farm “278 coffee out-growers in the Guji highlands”
Champion: Tesfaye Bekele (Tesfaye is more than just a farmer)
Coffee type: Washed Arabica
Varieties: Kurume and Welicho
Certification: Organic (IF Ordered as)
Location: Oromia Region, Guji Zone Sidamo
Altitude:1800 – 2200 meters
Soil type: Loamy soil
Shade trees: Millettia Ferruginea, Cordia Africana, Albizia Gummifera, Anigeria, Croton Macrostachyus, Eucberigia
Roast: Light Filter
Aromatics: Lime Marmalade | Body: Tongue Coating on cooling| Acidity: Complex, peachy, lime|
From the outset, this is like a citrus curd with an emerging stonefruit sweetness. There is a touch of dryness on the finish akin to a high-quality, orthodox black tea, think Nilgiri Pearl. Unusually for this level (light/ medium filter) of roast, there is a mouth-coating body. On cooling the fruit sugars are persistent and with all of the right things in place (freshness, good water fresh burrs, etc) Apricot, peach, and lime should be within your reach in extraction. This is such a delicious filter coffee. Because of the body, I felt compelled to try this in espresso, and …it didn’t disappoint.
Recipe: I would start at 60g per liter
These days we can extract coffee easier than ever before. Espresso equipment has moved on leaps and bounds (literally) and with decent burrs, late 20 second-mid thirties, this is incredible if you like juicy, sweet acidity. We start at 93 Celcius. We took this up to 9oz in milk and it worked oddly well, the lactic sugars made this behave like lime butterscotch…and it even works nicely with whole milk. I am sticking with the usual recipe because it still works.17g in 34g of espresso liquid out for milk-based. 17g in 42g out for espresso. If you have an option of pre-infusion (I would) take it every time, even if it is 2 seconds on and one-off before brewing.
It is no secret that we buy much of our Ethiopian coffee from Trabocca as they have been reinvesting and paying premiums on the ground in Ethiopia for years. Trabocca started working with Suke Quto in 2009 and has been a major part of increasing the quality of coffee produced there as well as investing in infrastructure and even a school.
Rather than I try to tell you about this coffee, you can see the whole value in the chain from fair food, here. In the future, we hope to see more of this as it is clean and independent.