ETHIOPIA, GUJI | 1810-2100 MASL | 74110, 74112, LOCAL LANDRACES | WASHED
Ethiopian coffees are back in season! Continuing our work with the importer Catalyst Trade, we are this year expanding to include this coffee from the Guji region. Tibe Haro is produced at the Hana Asrat Washing Station, and is named for the seifir, or neighborhood, where it’s located.
510 farmers bring their coffee cherry to this site, where it is washed and dried on raised beds. The majority of these farmers are referred to as ‘garden farmers,’ meaning they grow coffee on the land around their homes and thus only produce a small amount. The varietals used are primarily 74110 and 74112 from the Jimma Agricultural Research Center, although with coffee growing naturally in Ethiopia, many of the farmers will be harvesting naturally occurring varietals on their land, known as landraces.
This coffee is a washed process, and so will share more in common with our Naia Bombe Honey from last year than with the Naia Bombe Natural. Washed process Ethiopias tend towards more delicate flavors, with florals dominating. On the cupping table we get the range from lavender, honeysuckle, and lemon blossom, all the way to sweet herbal like rosemary, basil, lemon thyme, and mint. The coffee has a balanced, soft acidity that creates a juicy mouthfeel, and there you’ll get notes of nectarine and white peach, and maybe black tea. The body is light-medium, but with the high sweetness and balance present, it feels heavier.
As a pour over, this coffee tends more towards the light, complex floral flavor notes, while as a brew it will be more of the juicy stone fruits. And then if you want to taste it as an espresso at the roastery, it’ll turn into a citrus burst. I would say it’s more suited to black coffee drinkers than those who add milk, but who knows. It’s juicy and sweet enough that maybe people will like it that way too!
Michael and Emily McIntyre of Catalyst Trade have been involved on the ground with the cooperatives in this region for several years now, and at the end of 2018 moved to more fully vertically integrate their coffee sourcing work at origin with sales in the US market. Catalyst Consulting thus became Catalyst Trade, and can now take full control of the product from origin to market. Furthermore, as part of the restructuring, their Relationships Manger, Zelalem Girma, as well as several of the washing stations/producers, were named as co-founders and shareholders, making the company majority-Ethiopia owned. The goal of Coffeebar's Vertical Sourcing methodology has been to remain very intentional with our purchasing, choosing those projects where our investment can be most effective at empowering producers to improve their lives. Catalyst Trade already embodies these principals, yet continually strive to further raise the bar.