H+S Coffee Roasters Konga Cooperative

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HS close upI have been really impressed with the coffees I was sent by H+S Coffee Roasters in Laramie, Wyoming. To date I have had two different Kenyans, their Tana Toraja from Sulawesi (Indonesia) and the subject of today’s review, their Konga Cooperative from Ethiopia. You can purchase this coffee direct from H+S Coffee Roasters for $16.95/12oz bag.

I tried this coffee three ways: AeroPress, pourover (Gino, similar to Kalita Wave) and as espresso and I liked all three of these methods, each producing quite a different experience. This is a washed coffee made up of heirloom varieties from the various farms of the Konga cooperative in Gedeo, near Yirga Chefe, Ethiopia. Altitude is listed at 1875-2050masl for these beans.

I was struck immediately by the more developed roast on this coffee. My only criticism of some roasters’ interpretation of washed Ethiopian coffees is that they can be incredibly light and more in common with tea than coffee. At the same time, it’s easy to over-roast these coffees, which are prized for their subtlety.

Given that there is always a tightrope to walk with washed Ethiopian coffees, I think H+S struck the perfect balance, for my palate.

Gino Pourover
I was impressed by lots of chocolate up front and a long, lingering aftertaste that was slightly dry on my palate. There were floral aromas and flavors but I have a poor vocabulary when it comes to describing florals, so I’ll leave it at that. Nicely perfumed! In the cups I made in the Gino dripper I got lots of peach flavors, especially as the cup cooled. The acidity increased a little in the cooler cups, too, and there was a peach/lemon iced tea character that I really loved.

AeroPress (Inverted Method)
As an inverted AeroPress (press begins at 2:00) this was a very different, yet very enjoyable, coffee. It also benefitted from the more developed roasting profile that H+S decided on. The body was heavy, still keeping that long aftertaste (unusual for a washed Ethiopian, in my experience). There was more dark chocolate in the flavors along with those florals flitting around. Acidity had a lime character to me and there was an undertone, albeit relatively subtle, of berry jam underneath each sip. I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me that this coffee had some naturals mixed in, too, although I’m not sure if that ever happens when coffees are sorted and sold in Ethiopia. There was a definite natural character with the AeroPressed coffee and as espresso, too.

This coffee made a delicious single origin espresso shot. I was using 20g of coffee, pulling about 37g in around about 35 seconds. The shots were definitely bright and “third wave” but sweet, too. I got almonds, lots of berry jam and lemon-lime acidity from this coffee as espresso.

This is a nice coffee, and it really hit all the notes I like. It wasn’t too dark nor was it too lightly roasted. I think H+S hit that sweet spot perfectly with this coffee and I loved it every way I tried it. An excellent way to finish off my samples and my hat’s off to H+S for doing such a great job with not only this, but all of the coffees they sent me!