Cartel Coffee Lab – Yirgacheffe Adado

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We’re taking a quick look today at Cartel Coffee Lab’s Adado, a natural process Grade 1 coffee from Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia. It’s $19 for a 12oz bag and it’s available currently on Cartel’s website at the link above.

I recently found myself sitting on a mountain of opened coffee bags from the massive influx (THANK YOU, everyone!) of coffees I’ve been sent for review and I ended up trading coffee with my Instagram pal, Bryan Schiele (he is an amazing photographer, so if you aren’t following his Instagram feed and you’re a coffee fan you are in for a treat) and got a bunch of little sample bags from a bunch of roasters I haven’t been able to try yet.

My Adado sample was only 50g, so I had to use it wisely! I used 30g of it in my Gino dripper (basically a Kalita Wave) and then 20g in my espresso machine.

As you’d expect from a natural Yirgacheffe this is a fruity, sweet coffee with lots of berries in it. There is definitely some blueberry character but it’s not quite the pure blueberry jam flavor I get from local roaster, Messenger, when I’ve had their Adado. Cartel’s website mentions blackberry in the brief tasting notes and that seems more appropriate because it has a slight edge to it rather than the pure round sugar sweetness I’d associate with blueberries.

Sometimes people find natural Ethiopian coffees to be too sweet or cloying and this is definitely not one of those. There is good balance to this coffee. In the espresso machine it was a little too acidic for me, but I got dark artisanal chocolate (like Mast Bros.) with raspberry notes tucked into the acidity. Definitely a third wave, West Coast style shot.

This is a nice, easy-drinking coffee with good balance and it just makes me wish I had more to drink!