Ethiopian coffees are dropping like hail in a summer storm right now, and this morning I have one to share with you by way of Sunergos Coffee in Louisville, Kentucky. I’ve reviewed a couple Sunergos selections in the past, but it has been a long time and I was excited to receive an email asking if they could send me some of their new selections. This is the first of a trio of coffees from Sunergos, so check out the links and read on!
SUNERGOS COFFEE ETHIOPIA YIRGACHEFFE KOCHERE
Sunergos Coffee is is a mainstay of the Louisville community and coffee scene, and their attention to sourcing and roasting has garnered them national awards and attention, too. Today’s coffee is a washed Ethiopian selection from Kochere, a well-known coffee growing area near the town of Yirgacheffe, in the literal birthplace of coffee! This is a mix of heirloom varietals grown in the 1798-1996masl range and it’s a washed coffee with a light roast. These are really dense beans and the 28g I used was a shockingly small volume of coffee in my pourover! I used my usual 1:16 ratio pourover, so 28g of coffee to 450g of water and a total brew time of around 3:00 in a notNeutral Gino with Kalita 185 filters.
I like how Sunergos uses, “think” on their bags, as in this case, “think: white tea, peach and tangerine.” This one had nice floral aromas that were mild and sweet. In the cup, the body was light and the flavors clean and balanced. There is a peachy sweetness to the cup that persists into a long aftertaste. The acidity on this coffee had some lemon-like brightness with more orangey tones and I got hints of light green tea in the flavor, too. Like many washed Yirgacheffes, this one has definite tea-like characteristics, but those notes are more subtle in this one than the Earl Grey with lemon vibe I get from many coffees from this region.
My contact at Sunergos told me this coffee was good as espresso, and boy, was he right! His recommended parameters were 20g of coffee in the basket with a 35-37g of espresso in the cup in about 30 seconds. He also recommended a 200°F extraction temperature. The 30-year-old Gaggia Coffee doesn’t offer temperature setting or pressure profiling (man, how am I expected to live with THIS? LOL) so I did my best. My first pull ran fast but I could taste lots of lemon, peach and florals in the small sip I took. I tightened the burrs on my Rancilio Rocky two steps and pulled another shot and it hit right on the mark. To detail this for you (because I know I always wonder the same thing), I hit the timer right when I hit the brew button the machine and I cut it at 27 seconds. It takes a few seconds for the machine pressure to drop, so I left the cup under the portafilter and ended up with 37g on the dot.
This was lemony, but sweet, and still had a lot of florals in the flavor, which is pretty exceptional and not something I always get. Wow! The body was a little thin compared to a really full espresso blend and the crema a little fragile, but that’s to be expected on a light roast, single origin espresso. No complaints there. As bright as the espresso shot was, it was also nice and sweet and pretty balanced. Not a tooth enamel stripper in the least! Very good and I’m glad I took Sunergos up on their suggestion to try this as espresso!
This is a super light and clean coffee as a pourover and it’s a joy to drink. I don’t have a ton to say about it because it’s pretty straightforward in it’s complexity, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If cold brew or coffee cocktails are your thing, I suspect this coffee would work great for both, but really it’s just a beautiful, crystal clear cup of coffee from beginning to end and through it’s entire range of temperatures. Lovely!