Just Coffee Cooperative of Madison, WI sent me two Ethiopian coffees to try out. I absolutely loved the Natural Sidama (link to the review below) as both a pourover and espresso, and this morning I’m looking at a medium roast Sidama called Humdinger. This is from the same coffee growers’ union in Ethiopia and so it’s sure to be a delicious cup. Let’s find out!
JUST COFFEE CO-OP HUMDINGER
I reviewed Just Coffee Coooperative’s Natural Sidama last week and found it full of berries (some blueberry, lots of blackberry, raspberry and even strawberry) to the point that it was like berry jam in a cup! This morning I’m taking a look at another coffee from the same growers’ union, only this is a wet processed coffee instead of a natural. I love being able to do side-by-side tastings like this because it really highlights just how important processing is to the end result in the cup.
Just’s Humdinger comes from the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union. SCFCU was founded in 2001 and it represents 47 farmers’ cooperatives and over 70,000 smallholder farmers! The Sidama union grows approximately 10,000 tons of coffee per year, 95% of which is washed (another reason that Natural Sidama is a limited lot). 1 This coffee is a mix of heirloom varietals grown in the Sidama area at up to 1930 meters above sea level. This is a fully washed coffee and Just Coffee Co-op gives us flavor notes of, “Citrus, tangerine, honey.”
I used my standard pourover setup to brew this coffee, using a 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino dripper. My Handground grinder was set to 3 and I also used Third Wave Water in my preparation, a product I absolutely love! Just calls this a “medium” roast and the aroma from the brewer (which is often not much of a sign of what ends up in the cup, in my opinion, and other times, it’s dead-on) was mostly of darkly caramelized sugars and roast notes.
In this case, quite a bit of that comes through in the coffee, too. I find a lot of caramelized sweetness and a healthy amount of roast notes in the first half of the sip. Toward the middle, a subtle orangey citrus acidity comes in and builds into the second half of the sip, which finishes sweet. As the cup cools the roastiness dips a little and the acidity gets a little more lively, but this is still a pretty balanced coffee even with the acidity accentuated a little. I also find a little bit of a milk chocolate vibe to this cup, particularly in the second half of the sip and finish, and I caught hints of black pepper in the aftertaste, too.
This is a nice, pleasant, easy-drinking, very approachable coffee. While some washed Ethiopian coffees are very tea-like and lemony and super light, this one’s roast gives it more body and a different kind of sweetness, but it also still catches some nice acidity to add interest and dimension to the cup. Given a choice, I would definitely lean toward the Natural Sidama because I loved all those berry notes and I’m a sucker for a fruity natural coffee anytime, but this one is mellow and easy and delicious, too, just in a different way.