This morning we have a natural Ethiopian coffee from southern Florida’s Switchbox Roasters (Oakland Park, near Ft. Lauderdale). This was another selection included in Andrew Giambarba’s incredibly generous box of coffees from his neck of the woods. It has taken me forever to get this posted thanks to my real job and I apologize. Things are somewhat back on track for the next couple weeks and so without further ado, let’s coffee!
SWITCHBOX ROASTERS DRIMA ZEDE
Switchbox Roasters blew me away with their Pacamara that I reviewed a week or two ago and that one is still available, so get it while you can! Today’s review sold out as it took me the better part of 6 weeks to get this review posted. But, it’s worth posting all the same! Read more about Switchbox in my last review (link is in the links section at the top of the review) and let’s jump straight into this coffee!
This coffee is a natural process selection from the area of Kochere village in the Gedeo Zone. It’s the source of a lot of Ethiopian coffee and I think most of what I’ve had from this area tends to be washed rather than natural coffee. Growing altitude is 1850-2010masl and it consists of mixed heirloom varietals pooled together by smallholder farmers working in a co-op format with one another. Switchbox gave a flavor description of, “Floral, berries, balanced” for this coffee. As always, I used my standard 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino pourover dripper using Kalita 185 filters.
This coffee was quite a surprise to me. In my opinion, it had more in common with its washed cousins than the typical natural Ethiopian coffee. I got pleasant floral aromas from the brewed cup but, for me, this coffee was mostly about the brightness and acidity. I found a heavy light or light medium body with a short aftertaste. Right up front I was presented with a berry acidity and tartness as well as a little lime character and this was the dominant flavor in the cup for me. Along with the tartness/acidity from the berry notes came lots of berry sweetness, too. I was getting a little bit of strawberry, but mostly raspberry and blackberry in this cup. The finish was a little dry with a short aftertaste of florals and, you guessed it, raspberry!
It’s hard to describe, but the brightness of this cup is different than the shimmering acidity of a bright Colombian coffee or the more aggressive bite that a Kenyan coffee can have. For as bright and acid-forward as this coffee was, it was also round and soft at the same time. A delicious offering and one I’m glad and sad to see has sold out! I’m really impressed by Switchbox Roasters and their sourcing and roasting of the coffees I’ve tried. Hopefully, this isn’t the last we’ve seen of this up and coming southern Florida roaster!