We’re back in Africa with Lone Oak Coffee Co., this time heading from Kenya to Ethiopia. Lone Oak’s Kenya AA, linked below, was righteous, so I’m looking forward to the promise of this clean and fresh Ethiopian coffee. Without further let’s take Monday by the neck and drink some coffee!
LONE OAK COFFEE CO. ETHIOPIA
I covered Lone Oak’s history in my previous article and the Daily Coffee News article on them does a great job, too (links above). Long story short, Lone Oak started as a the roasting arm of Hopscotch Coffee and Records in Winchester, Virginia. I’m sure you can figure out what they sell! The three branches of the business (coffee shop, roasting and records) continued to work together, but split into essentially three independent businesses. Since then, Lone Oak has been a big success and in 2016 moved from their 15×15 space at Hopscotch into a 2100 sq ft space and their capacity and business expanded dramatically.
Today I’m checking out Lone Oak’s Ethiopia. On their website, there are two listed, a washed Adado and a natural that is sold out. The bag I have simply says, “Ethiopia” on it, but my eyes and nose are telling me this is the washed Adado and not the natural. Going on that assumption, this is a blend of heirloom varieties growing in the Adado area of Ethiopia’s Gedeo Zone (where you’ll also find Yirgacheffe and a lot of other important coffee growing places). Most coffee farms are small operations and as is the case in most eastern African countries, Ethiopian farmers pool their resources at washing stations and mills where their coffee is collected, combined and sorted into larger lots for sale. Adado is a washing station in the village of Shara and it’s named after the Adado tribe that lives here. This is a washed coffee and farms in this region grow in the 1780 to 1860masl range. Lone Oak gives us tasting notes of, “vibrant stone fruits and white grape… syrupy mouth feel with slight tangy acidity and clean finish all come together in a delightful cup.” Yum!
I’m using my standard pourover setup of a 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino dripper. My Handground grinder is set to 3 and I’m using Third Wave Water as always. I’m getting some florals and also hints of something spicier from the aroma from this cup. Taking my first sip, there is a lot of grape, a light lemony acidity and something that lands between peach and apricot for my palate. Delicious! I would call this a medium-light bodied coffee with a juice-like mouthfeel. It’s definitely clean and well-balanced, too. This is a really, really nice cup.
Early in the sip I get a white grape juice sweetness and that fruitiness that is sort of peachy and sort of apricoty for me. It has a hint of that tartness that I associate with apricot, but just a hint. As the coffee opens up in my palate that apricot note gets even bigger and a lot of florals come through mid-sip, too. That spiciness I noticed in the aroma comes back in the latter half of the sip and lasts into the lingering aftertaste. There’s almost a a black pepper note there. This is a perfectly balanced coffee and I think the bright notes it does have come mostly from the apricot vibe I’m getting, but there is a hint of lemon candy in this cup, too.
I am really loving the washed coffees from this area recently. I was over the moon with Ki Roasters’ Sede Yirgacheffe, another washed coffee from the Konga microclimate near Yirgacheffe, and this one is just as good. Sweet, clean, balanced, peaches, apricots, florals, hints of spices… and all in a unified cup that is totally delicious and not overly complex. Amazing! Lone Oak Coffee Co. rocked it with this Ethiopian offering and this is a testament to what happens when you roast good coffee well!