I mentioned in a previous review recently that it’s raining Ethiopian coffee here at World Domination Headquarters and, boy, is it ever! Today we have another coffee from Gedeb Asasa, just like the Asasa I reviewed from Cimarron Coffee Roasters earlier in the week. This is a dry/natural process coffee, though, coming from Volcanista Coffee Co. You can buy this natural process Gedeb Asasa directly from Volcanista Coffee Co. for $13.50/8oz bag.
I’ve been following Volcanista Coffee Co. for some time on social media although I am new to their coffee and didn’t realize they’re located outside of Jacksonville, FL in Atlantic Beach. Bold Bean is right in the same area and they are one of my all-time favorites. I think I get more comments about the Jacksonville coffee scene on my social media feeds than anyplace else, so there must be some good things happening down there! Volcanista’s website is still a work in progress (although sales are up and running) but doing a little detective work it looks like it’s a relatively new operation that was, perhaps, affiliated with Neptune Beach’s Lillie’s Coffee Bar. Lillie’s seems to have closed recently due to inability to negotiate a new lease with their landlords (grrrrrr….) and that’s when I saw Kevin’s intro posts pop up on Facebook. Maybe he was the roasting side of Lillie’s? In any case…
As a bit of a paper/design/packaging nerd, I have to say the attention to detail Volcanista’s owner, Kevin Kaeuper, pays to the graphic side of thing is impressive. The white bag with a metallic red stamped ink for the bold logo is awesome, and I love the simple and graphic label on the bag, too. Even Kevin’s letterpressed business cards are a thing of beauty! It’s not always the case, but usually when someone has that eye for detail in their marketing material and they’re a small/one-man operation, you can bet the product itself is going to be good!
Today’s coffee is from the southern part of the Yirgacheffe zone, Ethiopia and the world’s birthplace of coffee! With thousands and thousands of heirloom varietals growing naturally all over Ethiopia, it’s a mix of whatever the members of the Gedeb Asasa co-op sort out as lots.The bag notes call this a “light-medium” roast and Kevin gives us tasting notes of, “Tropical fruits, floral, sweet citrus, cola, chocolate.”
As it brewed I did get a lot of tropical aromas from the Gino dripper (used my trusty 1:16 ratio of 28g coffee to 450g water and a 3:30-ish brew time). I caught hints of pineapple and cola and other fruits and the brewing aromas really reminded me of a Long Island Ice Tea, of all things! LOL In the cup there was a little bit of florals with sweet caramel notes.
As far as flavors go, I did appreciate a fair amount of pineapple and lots of florals that do taste a lot like flat cola in the finish. There is an orange juice type of citrus with a bit of lime (minus the bitter component that comes with lime in most cases). There is a hint of ferment in the cup, which I really enjoy, as it adds a layer of complexity and it always works well with the fruit flavors in an Ethiopian natural. This is a sweet cup with nice body and lots of complexity but all from flavors and tones that work really well with one another. The aftertaste is just slightly tart and has an almost milk/dairy feel and flavor to it, too. There is a slight bitterness on my palate in the long aftertaste that I quite like, too. A fruity, sweet coffee like this can be cloying and this one is really balanced.
This is a really nice example of a natural from Yirgacheffe. Every time I open a bag of Ethiopian natural coffee I’m waiting to be punched in the face with that big blueberry note I fell in love with a few years ago, but alas, those coffees just aren’t around anymore, for the time being. Instead, this coffee proved to be rather sophisticated for a natural, bursting with tropical fruit, florals and cola, which really sets it apart from the strawberry-heavy naturals that have dominated the Ethiopian market for a while (I like those, too, though!).
This is a great entry into Volcanista’s coffee and Kevin’s roasting skill. I am really impressed and I certainly hope this is not the last coffee I get to taste from Volcanista!