Ethiopia Aleta Wondo -Haraicho Station

Its such a clean cup, with bergamot florals and citrus complexity at light roast levels. Tea comes out as the coffee cools and flavors of herbal and Earl Grey really shine. Its a bright, acidic coffee and citrus elements add a mouth-refreshing sensation. This coffee is sweet at the beginning, middle, and end. Nice. City to Full City.

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This coffee is from the Aleta Wondo woreda (a county, essentially) in the Sidama region of Southern Ethiopia. This wet-processed lot comes from one washing station called Haraicho, which I visited earlier this year. We hadn't planned on purchasing coffee from this area but when I cupped it in the capital of Addis a few days prior, we bought it on the spot, and made plans to visit the producer, L. Lamiso. Aleta Wondo town is not very remote, a short ways off the main road through Sidama and Yirga Cheffe as you head south. Honestly, I never liked the town much, but maybe that's because I got stomach sickness after eating a lunch there a few years back. The area is beautiful, and the altitudes these coffees come from is outstanding; mostly 2000+ meters. The coffee is fermented in the traditional Sidama way, under water for a very long time, often 72 hours depending on ambient temperatures. It is then washed through channels, soaked in clean water, and dried on raised beds.

Aleta Wondo has a fragrance of honey-graham cracker and jasmine tea floral notes, with a bit of cardamom coming up from the ground coffee. The wet aroma is complex too, with more jasmine florals, and ripe fruits There's an alluring base of butterscotch sweetness mixed with vanilla bean. The break is very floral and brings an Earl Grey note with it. The cup is extremely clean in taste, pleasantly light-bodied, and with subtle complexity that builds as the coffee cools. Tea and floral flavors are apparent, as with bergamot in Earl Grey, and fresh peach blossom in light City/City+ roasts. This coffee has so much floral and citrus in these light levels, the latter presenting itself as kumquat, Mandarin orange, pink grapefruit, pomello - this changes with subtle roast differences. The bright acidic snap in the cup lends to the mouth-refreshing effect. The finish is sweet, honeyed, and with light-yet-pleasing mouthfeel. This coffee is best up before Full City (maybe even just lighter), but I'd steer clear of anywhere North of there. Aleta Wondo is a coffee that when taken too far will compromise much of the profile described.

Additional Info

Additional Info

Varietal Heirloom Varietals
Processing Wet Process (Washed)
Grade Grade 1
Arrival date May 2014 Arrival
Appearance .2 d/300gr, 15+ Screen
Intensity/Prime attribute Medium intensity / Jasmine floral, Tea notes, layered citrus, subtle fruits
Region Aleta Wondo, Sidama
Roast City to City+ is ideal for a complex and bright cup (and the roasts we used for this review); I wouldn't stray too far beyond this level.
Organic No
Farm Gate Yes
Recommended for Espresso No