Last week I reviewed Ross Street Roasting Co.’s Nicaraguan coffee and liked it enough to buy two bags to take home for my extended family to enjoy at Thanksgiving! Ross Street Roasting Co. is a new endeavor owned and operated by Brian Gumm and located in the tiny Iowa town of Toledo. He’s off to a great start based on these two coffees!
Today’s coffee is Brian’s Ethiopia Yigacheffe Adado Sulula, a coffee he sourced from the good folks at Coffeeshrub/Sweet Maria’s. This coffee is a natural/dry process from the Adado zone near Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia and it’s considered a Grade 1 selection, meaning there were a lot of hands on this coffee to pick out defects, a much more labor intensive job for a natural coffee than a washed coffee. 1 Brian gives notes of, “dried peach and blueberry aroma, blueberry-like fruity sweetness in the cup.” You can buy this coffee directly from Ross Street Roasting Co. for $12/12oz bag.
Ethiopian naturals have not been at the top of my list this year in general, but this is a pretty good example for the 2015’s I have had. Whereas last year I was all about the naturals from Ethiopia and I was “meh” about the washed coffees coming out of that country, my opinion flipped this year. I don’t know if there was a big shift in the coffees themselves or if it’s my palate, or what? Who knows? There is a good fragrance of fruit from the bag that clearly delineates this as a natural process coffee. In the cup a lot of aromatics come out, including sugary sweetness, some chocolate and a melange of blueberry, blackberry and even some raspberry. The roast seems a shade darker on this than some of the naturals I am used to, so there was a heavy purple plum aroma and a bit in the flavor, too.
All of those aromatics make it into the flavor, which definitely leans toward the sweetness and fruity part of the spectrum. There isn’t much perceived acidity in this coffee to offer balance, but the roast level also enhances a dark chocolate flavor and a dryness on the palate which keeps the sweetness of the coffee from being overwhelming. That roast level may mute the fruit a little, but I think without it this cup would be overly-sweet and so I can appreciate the artistry Brian applied in coming up with this roast profile. As the cup cools some pineapple and other tropical notes creep in giving the drinker a lot to enjoy at different temperature levels. This is definitely one of the better Ethiopian naturals I’ve had this year and it has a nice, satisfying body and is super-easy to drink. We had a little heavy cream in the fridge for a Thanksgiving recipe and I tossed some in my cup, which I never do normally and it was killer, as you’d expect!