Today is my last coffee from Cincinnati’s Deeper Roots Coffee. I’ve loved their other selections they sent me and this one is quite special, too. As luck would have it, I was on the tail end of their stock for this coffee, so it’s not available from Deeper Roots anymore, but they have a nice Konga that sounds like it may be a worthy substitute, and you can pick that coffee up for $14.50 per bag.
Today’s coffee is Deeper Roots’ Ayele. What set this coffee apart from other Ethiopian coffees was the fact that it was traceable back to a single farmer, which is very unusual in Ethiopia. East African coffee farms tend to be quite tiny, so much so that they don’t produce enough coffee for it to make sense to keep farm lots separate. So it’s common in that part of the world for many farmers to join a co-op. During harvesting all the farmers take their crop to the co-op for processing and it’s mixed together. Ayele Dula, on the other hand, has a larger farm (14.5 hectares) called Dhudhufa (viper), named after the vipers and anacondas that used to hang around in the early days of the farm’s establishment. Cool name for a coffee, I will say!
Ayele has worked this farm for 30 years and it was passed down to him from his grandfather, who defended the land in the Second Italo-Abyssinian war. In recent years, Ayele replanted the entire farm with Welisho, Kudhume and Dega varieties of coffee, some of the thousands that make up Ethiopia’s heirloom varietals. He works the farm with the help of his wife and some of his 12 (!) children. You can read more about Ayele and coffee from the area around Yirgachefe in Cafe Imports’ excellent article, and there is a short video worth checking out, too.
Deeper Roots’ lot of Ayele’s coffee is washed and sun-dried, so I was expecting brightness, lightness and clean, tea-like flavors. The beans and the grounds had a super caramel fragrance that I could barely stop smelling. It was SO good! I used my usual 1:16 ratio (28g coffee:450g water) in the notNeutral Gino dripper with a total brew time of around 3:30 or so. This produced some really nice cups. In the warmer cup there were nice aromas of florals, and the flavor had great peach-like notes and sweetness. I love a peachy coffee and I’ve been getting that a lot in this year’s Ethiopian coffees. Yum! As the cup cooled that peach sweetness remained the star, but the coffee also gave off a soft, round, lemon acidity. The acidity was definitely not the star of the show but it balanced out the sweetness in the cup nicely. During some of the cups of this coffee that I drank I was doing other work on the computer and putting a lot of time in between sips. I noticed this awesome milk chocolate aftertaste with the smallest hints of roasty notes along with it.
This was a killer coffee from Deeper Roots, roasted to perfection in my opinion, and I’m so sad that it’s already gone! Deeper Roots really impressed me with all of their selections they sent and I hope to keep up a good relationship with them to try more and share more of their coffees with you dear readers in the future! If they have it for sale, buy it!