Ethiopia Bishan Fugu Natural
Pungent round fruit flavors are the story to this coffee. This Certified Organic micro-lot from the famed Hambela estate shows the sweeter side of fermentation and coffees dried with the fruit intact, boasting loud notes of concord grape and kombucha. This syrupy, winey coffee will be polarizing, but we love it!
Washing Station: Hambela
Producer: Aman Adinew
Process: Washed & Raised-bed Dried
Elevation: 2100 meters
Cup: Lime, Concord Grape, Kombucha, Dark Chocolate
Seventy-five kilometers beyond Yirgacheffe in Guji lies the farm Hambela, a 200-hectare coffee farm that includes a wet mill, dry mill, drying beds, and parchment storage. It's an amazing operation that we have had the opportunity to visit multiple times. It's not the most pleasant trip. Thirty hours of air travel to get to Addis Adaba, Ethiopia from Arkansas and then add a 20-hour car ride through some of the worst "roads" you have ever experienced. We don't mind it because the coffee is definitely worth it.
Three brothers own Hambela: Aman, Michael, and Tariku Adinew and they also own and run METAD. METAD is an incredible Ethiopian coffee company that specializes in high-end specialty coffee. The property belonged to their parents and had been abandoned for decades until they invested and reclaimed the old family tradition of coffee farming. The farm is certified organic, and the brothers have a tremendous heart for people and quality coffee. Within Hambela, there are multiple cherry drop spots. Out of all these micro-lots of the farm, Buku is our favorite. When visiting the cupping lab in Addis at METAD's HQ, we cup over all their offerings blind, which means we don't know what we are currently tasting and every year we select the Buku micro-lot without even knowing. There is something about the cup profile that is almost emotional when we taste it at this point. It brings back memories of my first sourcing trip to Ethiopia years ago and encompasses the magic and love we have for East Africa.
METAD, HAMBELA, & THE ADINEWS by Jon
I met Michael at an SCAA event back in 2013. He was probably the friendliest person I have ever met. We discussed his coffee farm, and I happened to be headed to Ethiopia at the beginning of the year, so a plan was made to visit. That visit turned out to be an incredibly fruitful trip (pun intended) as we contracted more coffee from a single farm than we ever had at the time. Five years later, we are in a full swing partnership and are so proud to represent the hard work, history, and quality the Adinews bring to specialty coffee. Michael now lives in the Bay area while his other two brothers reside in Addis Adaba. They have gone on to build a school in Hambela, supporting more than 400 students, and they supplement the salaries of the teachers.
We are very proud to say that this our first full container to import ourselves from East Africa this year. It was a stressful process for us, complete with new terms and learning. The Adinews were crucial in helping us understand the process and be successful. We hope this marks a new beginning for us having more of a hand in the transport of our coffees from origin to our roastery.
NATURAL PROCESSED COFFEES
Naturals are beautiful…Okay, natural coffees are beautiful when done properly and are pretty much the worst thing ever when not. Natural processing or dry processing refers to the act of drying and fermenting coffee inside the cherry. This means the coffee cherries are picked from the tree and placed on drying beds or on the ground in some cases. They are dried in the sun until they have 12% moisture content or so and then are hulled to remove the dry husk of the fruit. “Naturally,” they exhibit fruit forward characteristics and have a good chance of tasting “fermenty,” which is usually a taboo in Specialty Coffee. However, with advanced technique in picking and drying, high-quality naturals are being produced, and the cup quality and taste profiles are astoundingly good. We have long promoted alternative processing methods, and naturals are at the top of that list. This Hambela coffee is one of those reasons we do. Fresh berries, vibrant lime, and a sweet, silky mouthfeel is just part of what makes this coffee so indulgent. Add jasmine tea, bergamot, and tropical overtones in both aromatics and flavor. This coffee will change the way you look at black coffee and may just convert those who don’t drink it currently. Clean, high-quality naturals can be a perspective changing cup.