INCLUDED IN SET | 2 X 100G BAGS OR 2 X 12OZ BAGS
COFFEE | BLACK LABEL COFFEES FROM TAMIRU TADESSE
ORIGIN | ALO VILLAGE, BENSA, SIDAMA, ETHIOPIA
NOTES | IT'S COMPLICATED (SEE BELOW).
In many circles, Tamiru Tadesse needs no introduction. He's well known in his homeland of Ethiopia (and in the specialty coffee world at large) for growing and processing exquisite coffees at stunning elevations, year after year. In fact, Tamiru won Ethiopia's 2021 Cup of Excellence auction, and his coffees continue to take high marks and high prices with each new harvest.
For our part, we did need an introduction, but one of a slightly different nature. Through our longtime friend and South African Barista Champion, Winston Douglas, we were able to connect with Jeff from Genesis (an importing partner with ALO Coffee), and it is because of that introduction that we had the incredible opportunity to purchase coffee from two of Tamiru's lots this year. We originally had them in mind for barista competition - and you may very well still see them there! - but we ultimately decided to share this incredible opportunity with our panda friends by offering these coffees as a set. Side by side, you can experience how processing methods can drastically affect what you experience in your cup of coffee, even when all other factors are the same! Bear with us for a moment, friends - this one is a wildly changing ride.
In the cup: As we said at the top, the flavor notes here get a little complicated. Nevermind the fact that we're talking about one coffee processed two different ways - both results are so complex, their flavors change as the coffee in your cup cools. If you have any familiarity with coffee competitions, think of this flavor explanation like a Brewer's Cup routine. We're going to highlight the flavor characteristics of both coffees at three different temperatures: hot, warm, and cool.
Coffee #1 | Sidama Alo Honey
Roast | Light
Alo Honey Processing: The coffee is picked and sorted as red cherries before being pulped (removing the skin of the coffee cherry), but the small layer of fruit underneath the skin is left behind. The seeds - with their sticky fruit intact - are set out to dry, either on raised beds or patios. It is this added contact time between the fruit and the seed that, when done well, adds an intense sweetness to honey processed coffees.
Alo Honey Notes: Right after brewing and piping hot, this coffee has notes of white flowers, citrus peel, peach jam, and dark honey. As it comes down to a pleasantly warm temperature, those fruit notes become more fresh, and everything lightens up a bit - we experienced peaches, mango, tropical citrus, and a similar honey note. As the coffee cools, it takes on Earl Grey aromatics and flavor, and the acidity is once again amplified. At this temperature, the body is medium and soft, and we tasted notes of even more orchard fruits (peach and cherry), Meyer lemon, and that lingering honey sweetness prevails.
Hot | White Flowers, Citrus Peel, Peach Jam, Dark Honey
Warm | Fruits Become More Fresh, Peach, Mango, Tropical Citrus, Honey
Cool | Acidity Amplifies, Earl Grey Aromatics & Flavor, Meyer Lemon, Honey, Orchard Fruits and Medium / Soft Body.
Coffee #2 | Sidama Double Fermentation
Roast | Light Medium
Double Fermentation Processing: After picking, ripe coffee cherries are floated to remove lower-density beans. The lot is then placed in 110-kg sealed fermentation tanks to ferment anaerobically for 96 hours, after which it is removed to African beds for drying under mesh wire for about 26 days. Finally, the lot is nestled into jute bags inside GrainPro bags and moved to a climate-controlled warehouse, which promotes further development of aroma and fragrance.
Double Fermentation Notes: Right after brewing and piping hot, this coffee is boozy like red wine, with notes of Cola, black cherry, and dark chocolate. As it comes down to a pleasantly warm temperature, the acidity is amplified and lime-like, and the sweetness transitions to something resembling ripe fruit. At this temperature, we also experienced pomegranate and sour candy. As the coffee cools, the body becomes much heavier, and pomegranate and Concord grape become the predominate flavor characteristics.
Hot | Boozy, Red Wine, Cola, Black Cherry, And Dark Chocolate
Warm | Acidity Amplifies Lime, Pomegranate, Sour Candy, Sweetness Like Ripe Fruit
Cool | Body Heavy, Pomegranate, And Concord Grape
Producer | Tamiru Tadesse
Washing Station | Alo Coffee
Variety | 74158
Elevation | 2380-2480 masl