This is our third coffee from San Diego, California’s Manzanita Roasting Company. I absolutely loved their Panama Don Pepe Estate coffee as both espresso and filter brew, so let’s see how the Ethiopia Kochere does. Manzanita is owned by Weston and Sam Nawrocki. Weston is a classically trained chef and wine sommelier while Sam runs the marketing for San Bernardo Winery. Her family has owned the winery for 125 years and the roastery can be found on the winery’s property. Weston and Sam started the roasting company at the end of 2015. Buy some wine and coffee the next time you visit!
Today’s coffee is Manzanita’s Ethiopia Kochere. This one comes from the Legesse Kebede mill in Kochere, south of Yirgachefe, and like most Ethiopian coffees it consists of heirloom varietals from a number of small farms that are part of the co-op using that mill for processing. This is a washed Grade 1 coffee grown in the range of 1800-2100masl. Tasting notes for this coffee include, “peach and date notes with a tea like body, super focused. A refreshing, balanced and bright cup.” They also recommend trying it as iced coffee or cold brew. You can buy this coffee directly from Manzanita Roasting Company for $17/12oz bag.
I had previously found their Guatemala Antigua to be too light for my palate, and I absolutely loved their Don Pepe Estate from Panama, so I was anxious to try this coffee out and see what I think. I prepared my samples of this coffee using a notNeutral Gino with Kalita 185 filters and I’ve recently switched it up from a 1:15 ratio (30g coffee and 450g of water) to a 1:16 ratio (28g of coffee and 450g of water) after hearing some of the arguments in favor of a slightly wider ratio for pour over brewing. This produced a sweet, clean cup with a lot of structure that was fun to drink and tasty as heck!
In any case, the aroma on this one is pretty subtle. There is a sweet, caramel aroma and some light florals that are easy to miss if you don’t catch them coming off at the right temperature. This is a really nice example of a washed Ethiopian coffee from the Yirgachefe/Kochere area. There is a lot of peach sweetness with a bit of the tartness I’d associate with dried apricot. I love a coffee with peach notes and this one fits the bill. This is as close to a peach-bomb as I’ve had for quite some time!
In addition to that lovely peach note there is some brightness provided by some citric acidity. I found some lemon candy as well as orange notes in the acidity, and it brightens the cup but is not too bright or too forward. It’s a good balance for the sweetness in the cup and it adds needed complexity to the flavors. The cup definitely has a body that I’d place in the heavy side of the “light” spectrum. The aftertaste is on the dry side and has a bit of a drying sensation on my palate, and it’s the light body and dry finish that give so many washed Ethiopian coffee from this area their “tea-like” character.
All in all, this is a really nice washed coffee. I had a couple cups of this when I first received it and then again this morning when I was writing this review and even a month out from its roast this is a wonderful example of a washed Ethiopian coffee. These coffees can sometimes be a little too light in body and flavor but Weston nailed the roast to give sweetness, balancing acidity and an overall classic profile to this Kochere.