The holidays are over, time to get back to work! On the docket today is a washed Yirgachefe from the Konga co-op in Ethiopia, courtesy of my friends at Kansas City’s awesome Oddly Correct. This is the second coffee, along with their ridiculously good Gachatha AB that I reviewed last week, that I sent to Poland for Third Wave Wichteln (coffee Secret Santa) and when it was available, I think it was running $17/bag. Of course, I had to sneak a little for myself to review! Unfortunately for us, they’ve sold out, but on the plus side, Ethiopian coffees are just about always on roast at Oddly Correct and they will have plenty of washed coffees from that country to share in 2016!
Again, this is a washed/wet processed coffee from the Konga cooperative in Yirgachefe, Ethiopia, the cradle of coffee civilization. It is made up of heirloom varietals grown in the 1800-2100masl range and Oddly Correct offered tasting suggestions of “floral, with caramel, black tea, lemon and cocoa.” This coffee came in a cool bag that was hand letterpressed on an old press in the roastery and featured art that was drawn and carved into a block by Oddly Correct owner, Gregory Kolsto.
The first really, really light Yirgachefe I ever had that really removed the flavor veil from my eyes was served to me by Oddly Correct. I swear if I didn’t know it was coffee I would’ve said it was Earl Grey tea with lemon. This Yirg is not that light, but it’s still more in that vein than some of the sweeter, heavier Yirgachefes I’ve had in the last few months.
The florals in the aroma are there, but again, not as obvious as I’ve smelled from other coffees. The body on this coffee is light and delicate with a short burst of flavor followed by a subtle finish and aftertaste. If it were summer I think this would make an awesome cold brew. In any case, there is definitely a black tea note in this coffee, as well as a mouthfeel I associate with tea… it’s a little drying on the palate (but I wouldn’t call it “astringent”) and has a beautiful bitterness, both which seem very tea-like to me. The finish is a little on the dry side for me but it doesn’t take away from the experience, and that’s also where I pick up some of the cocoa notes from this coffee.
There is a sweet and light lemon acidity on the front end of the sip that carries through to the end. This is very balanced coffee, with elements of caramel sweetness punctuated by that tea-like bitterness and mouthfeel and the whole profile gets a nice lift from the citrus acidity. This is a more subtle Yirgachefe than a lot of the other ones I’ve been enjoying, but that doesn’t make it any less rewarding to drink. Having drunk a lot of Oddly Correct’s Yirgachefes over the past couple years, this is right in line with what I would expect for a washed Ethiopian coffee from them and it’s a very well-done coffee!