This morning I am back to Ethiopia with a selection from Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. This is their Gelana Abaya, a natural process coffee, and I think these are the smallest coffee beans I’ve ever seen! So cute! But now let’s pulverize those cuties and drink their blood!
ANODYNE COFFEE ROASTING CO. ETHIOPIA YIRGACHEFFE GELANA ABAYA
I really enjoyed Anodyne’s Myanmar Mandalay (read that review for a little backstory on Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co, too) and so I’m looking forward to trying out a second coffee from my new friends in Milwaukee. I have been noticing lately how many tiny beans are showing up in some of the Ethiopian coffees I’ve been drinking lately, but this one takes the cake! The label says these are Typica variety but they are 1/3 of the size of another Yirgacheffe natural I compared them to! The photo below shows a size comparison with another natural Yirgacheffe and those beans were on the smaller side to begin witg! LOL I’ve seen some really tiny Yemeni beans that aren’t Arabica species (Mocca, perhaps?) and they remind me of those. Total insanity!
In any case, this is a natural coffee from the Gelana Abaya mill in the Gedeo Zone of Ethiopia, which is home to Yirgacheffe and is pretty much the origin of coffee on this planet. Coffee grows around 1800-2000masl there. I was a little confused by Anodyne’s label because it says that this is a “fully washed/natural” coffee, although the description on their site specifies it is a naturally processed coffee. They bought this coffee from Atlas Coffee Importers, whose excellent informational page on this coffee and mill notes that the mill does both washed and natural production, so that’s probably where the labeling info got a little fuzzy. That link is listed above and there’s a fantastic photo showing the washing channels, fermentation tanks and natural processing beds at Gelana Abaya. Anodyne gives us tasting notes of, “Blueberry, green melon, and candied lemon peel” for this coffee, so let’s see!
I used my standard ourover setup for this coffee: Handground grinder set on “3” with a 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino, brewing with Third Wave Water.
My first sip is light and bright, almost thin on my palate with a bit of a watery body, which is a surprise for me. This has a fairly light roast, which often keeps the body on the thinner side, but despite being a bit on the watery side as far as mouthfeel, this coffee packs in a lot of flavor. I usually don’t find the melon notes that roasters put on coffee labels but that is definitely not the case for this coffee. This one has honeydew for days for me! There’s a little bit of honeycrisp apple (or any other very sweet, low tartness varietal) in there, too, making for a very fresh and refreshing sweetness in this cup. No blueberry in here for me, but I get the slightly floral-leaning berry flavor that I associate with blackberries, although the berry-ness of this coffee is pretty minimal compared to that big melon and sweet apple note! I’m really digging this because Ethiopian naturals are so often berries, berries and more berries (which I love, don’t get me wrong), so it’s always a pleasant surprise to find a coffee that deviates from the norm.
There is a pretty good brightness/acidity to this cup, too. Lemon candy is appropriate in this case. It’s bright without being so acidic, if you get what I mean. There is a tartness that gets left on my palate after swallowing this coffee and even though this is a light-bodied cup there is a pleasant aftertaste that sticks around for longer than I would’ve thought. It’s fruity and sweet but also has a bit of that lemon tartness to it in the aftertaste.
What a cup! At fresh-brewed temps it’s super-underwhelming, so you absolutely must let it cool off a little bit and when it does it opens right up and gives off a lot of flavors that I don’t normally asociate with Ethiopian coffees, especially naturals. I love that! I wish it had more body and presence in that way, but it’s a delicious coffee all the same and packs plenty of flavor. To me, this is a calibration coffee for learning what honeydew melon tastes like in the context of coffee, there really is that much of a flavor note in this cup. All in all an outstanding cup, especially for drinkers who enjoy a delicate cup and like surprises from time to time!