Balanced sweet coffee character and doughy/baked goods. Berry top notes and a floral aroma are indicative of the origin. Loads of chocolate when roasted dark. City+ to Full City. Good espresso.
|Processing||Wet Process + Dry Process, then SWP Decaf|
|Drying Method||Raised Bed Sun-Dried|
|Arrival date||June 2019 Arrival|
|Bag size||60 KG|
|Cultivar Detail||Heirloom Varietals|
|Appearance||.8 d per 300 gr; 15+ screen - mainly broken beans from decaf processing|
|Roast Recommendations||City+ to Full City - beyond Full City and you risk charring the beans|
|Recommended for Espresso||Yes|
This custom Swiss Water decaf is made up from three different coffee washing stations in Ethiopia's southern Guji Zone. The majority of the blend are two wet process coffees that were notably floral and deeply sweet, two qualities we hoped would transfer to the final decaf. 1/8 of the blend is a dry process coffee, a real berry bomb as non-decaf. It adds durable fruited characteristics to the cup, berry tones in the middle roasts, as well as bolsters sweetness. 1st crack was much louder than some other decafs we've had, and the surface color for City+ roasts looks pretty even in shade. Being Ethiopian coffee, my instincts led me to an initial light, City roast level, which proved to be too light. It's difficult to circumvent doughy/bread notes that seem to come with decaf, and City roasts just don't develop the sweetness necessary to take the focus off of that. City+ is a much more well rounded cup with plenty of top note highlights. This coffee was processed by Swiss Water in Vancouver, BC. If you don't already know, their chemical-free method only uses water (well, "water, temperature, and time" as you'll see on their website) to remove 99.9% of the caffeine. In comparison to many other caffeine extraction methods, the Swiss Water method is relatively gentle, leaving much of the volatile compounds affecting flavor and aroma intact.
City+ roasts produce a sweet decaf cup with subtle flavor and aroma markers that certainly point to the origin. A dehydrated fruit smell is released in the dry fragrance, along with a scent of fresh sourdough bread dough. The aroma shows a similar mixture that reminds me of toast with a thin layer of strawberry jam. City+ roasts boast a mild floral aroma and a dried berry top note. It cools to a sweet coffee character that counters doughy, decaf flavors that invariably show in these lighter roast levels (they're much more dominant at City but lack a developed sweetness at a roast level that light). At Full City roast level, the "bready" flavors all but disappear. You're of course drinking a much more bittersweet and chocolatey brew at Full City, though I can still put my finger on subtle dark fruit undertones as it cools. Full City espresso shots are a real treat, layers of dark chocolate and mixed berry spread. I don't know how anyone would peg this coffee as decaf in espresso extraction!