Today’s review is of Tinker Coffee Co.’s natural Ethiopian from Yirgacheffe. Tinker is based out of Indianapolis, IN and this is my first time experiencing any of their coffee. You can find more details about this coffee on their website. This sample came from My Coffee Pub, a monthly subscription service where you receive whatever coffee is on deck for the month.
According to Tinker’s website, this coffee comes from the town of Adado, near Yirgacheffe. Like most Ethiopian coffees, lots of coffees are mixed together from various farms, so you almost never know anything more about a coffee other than the general area it was grown. Since Ethiopia grows something like 4,000 varietals of Arabica beans, too, you always see the varietal listed as, “heirloom.” No one can keep track of that many coffees and name them all! The elevation for this coffee is 2000-2350masl and it’s a dry processed/natural coffee, meaning that it was picked and then dried in the cherry.
As you would expect for a natural Ethiopian coffee, Tinker gives, “blueberry and melon” as for tasting notes. I’d read about this coffee on A Table in The Corner of the Cafe and he found it to be over-roasted and suffering as a result. The beans looked pretty medium-light when I opened my bag, but the eyes can only tell you so much. I wasn’t picking up any over-roasted notes in the bag with my nose, either.
I brewed this up several times using my usual 15:1 Gino dripper parameters. There was a lot of blueberry in the nose. In the immediately brewed cup, I got loads of blueberry and chocolate in the flavor. I didn’t get any of the off/over-roasted flavors that Corner of the Cafe mentioned in his review, so this could be a different coffee and/or maybe Tinker modified their roasting parameters since then.
I found this to be a medium-heavy bodied coffee with a bit of ashiness in the aftertaste and a mildly drying mouthfeel. As the cup cooled it brightened up a bit and reminded me of orange juice somehow, although I don’t think it had a strongly citrus flavor.
I thought this was a pretty straightforward Ethiopian natural. I did note some sourness as it cooled and I’m not sure if that is its natural acidity or if I was getting the coffee a bit too far off roast. It was close to a month old when I received it, and for roasters this is a long time, but for my palate, most coffees hold up well within this time frame. That doesn’t mean they all do, though.
This wasn’t the most exciting or interesting Ethiopian natural coffee I’ve had but it was what I expected and seemed highly improved over what Corner of the Cafe found last year. It is definitely a fruit-forward cup, as naturals will be, so tread lightly if you’re looking for caramels, chocolates and lots of developed sugars. But, then again, you shouldn’t be drinking Ethiopian naturals if that’s your cup of tea. Or, well… coffee!