This spring we’re featuring two of my favorite single origin coffees, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, and Guatemala Antigua. Later this season we’ll have some rare speciality coffees you’ll more hear about soon.
But for now, let’s have a look at what we’re roasting in April.
Yirgacheffe is a town in the Sidamo region in the Gedeo Zone of Southern Nations of Ethiopia. This region is considered the birthplace of coffee
A bright, medium- to light-bodied coffee with winy, berry undertones, distinct floral tones in the aroma, an intense and complex flavor that is clean and flowery, and a vibrant finish.
Ethiopian Yirgacheffes reveal hints of chocolate and fragrant notes of citrus, perhaps tangerine, and also nutty. Finer Yirgacheffes may have a charming toasted coconut aroma.
Ethiopian beans are smaller than most coffee beans, and benefit from precise roasting. We roast Ethiopia Yirgacheffe to full city roast, to fully develop the flavor. It also tastes delicious roasted a little darker, we often serve it as espresso.
Full city (alt. light French, light espresso, Continental) is the name applied to a degree of roast of coffee beans which is darker than a city roast. Coffee brewed from beans roasted to this degree mute some of the characteristics of the green coffee, especially more acidic tones. A full city roast will also develop sweetness and body present in the coffee.
Antigua is, perhaps, Guatemala’s best-known coffee growing region. Rich volcanic soil, low humidity, lots of sun, and cool nights characterize the region and make for some of Guatemala’s most extraordinary coffees. The valley around the town of Antigua (from which the region gets its name) is surrounded by three volcanoes: Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango. Every so often, Fuego—one of Guatemala’s three active volcanoes—adds a fresh dusting of mineral-rich ash to Antigua’s soil. Volcanic pumice in the soil retains moisture, which helps offset Antigua’s low rainfall. Nights can be quite cold. In Antigua, shade is especially dense to protect the coffee plants from the region’s occasional frost.
Guatemalan coffees vary from plantation to plantation, crop to crop. Some years it’s better, some less so. Guatemala was the first single origin coffee I treasured for its unique flavor. When it’s good, it’s some of the best coffee in the world. Unlike the medium-bodied brightness of many latin American coffees, Guatemala Antigua is deep, full-bodied, and aromatic. Our current supply is the best I’ve tasted in years. Its robust personality makes it suitable for many different kinds of brewing methods. It’s especially good with a minimum of filtering, in a French press, for example. Earthy, smokey, with touch of spice, and cocoa notes, it makes great espresso beverages, and it’s perfect with nothing added.
We’re currently roasting both full city roast, and dark roast. Not as dark as Italian roast, closer to espresso roast. Dark enough for the oily sweetness to emerge, and still retain its natural earthy flavor.