A heavy-handed dry process cup, notes of blueberry, grape, cranberry juice, honeydew, stone fruit accents and tart citrus hints. A wine-like, sweet coffee on the cleaner side for natural. City to Full City. Wild espresso.
|Processing||Dry Process (Natural)|
|Drying Method||Raised Bed Sun-Dried|
|Arrival date||September 2019 Arrival|
|Bag size||60 KG|
|Cultivar Detail||Heirloom Cultivars|
|Appearance||.8 d per 300 gr; 14+ screen - mainly partial quakers, there are a lot of small beans too (not a defect)|
|Roast Recommendations||City to Full City - take care roasting dark as the small beans can roast faster than the others when taken too fast|
|Type||Farm Gate, Certified Coffees|
|Recommended for Espresso||Yes|
This coffee is one of two lots being sold under the "Shantawene" name, the other being a fantastic wet process coffee also available now. Both coffees come from a privately owned farm and processing site near Shantawene Village, tucked away in the Bombe mountains of Ethiopia's Sidama growing region. Along with coffee from their own farm called "Daye Bensa", they are buying and processing coffee from local farmers from three different growing areas nearby - Shantawene, Bombe and Keramo villages. The samples we tasted from all three scored high and we wound up buying wet and dry process lots from all of them (the others should be available early 2020). This lot is a mix of coffees harvested from their own farm and outgrowers around Shantawene village. It's certified organic too, which means that they go to great lengths to register every small farmer who they buy from and certify that organic agricultural practices are being employed at the farm level (they're also Rain Forest Alliance and UTZ certified, but we only brought in with the organic certificate). The farm and outgrowers are growing Ethiopian heirlooms and altitude ranges from just under 2000 meters to 2100 meters above sea level. It's worth noting that the screen size is on the small side too. The majority of the coffee is 15+, but we are spotting quite a few 14 screen beans in there too. The biggest concern here is that these smaller, lower density beans will roast faster than the largest coffee. While that can be true, we found that either sticking to City to City+ roast range or slowing down the last leg of the roast helps keep the small beans from charring and darker 'roast' flavors at bay.
Dry process Ethiopias are perhaps some of the most complex coffees we carry, and this lot from Shantawene is a testament to that. It's on the cleaner side of the spectrum too, fruit and berry flavors are fairly refined, and even display a floral aroma that adds a delicate quality to the cup profile, though I'd hardly call this natural "delicate"! At City and City+ the cup is heavy handed, with flavors notes of berry and grape, sweetened cranberry juice, honeydew melon and stone fruit accents. Aspects of tart fruit flavors cut through the complex cup profile and add an acidic impression and structuring effect to the array of wild fruit flavors. Shantawene displays some wine-like, ferment flavors too, but nothing in the 'booze'/alcohol realm that might indicate the coffee sat on the drying beds too long, and they're much more like the plum flavors of a young wine. Full City roasts bring out the berry tones and a lingering blueberry flavor is easily ID'd and comes with something akin to tart fruit skins. Full City roasting is a little tricky due to the small screen size of some of the beans (they look like 14 screen). If you have the means to control heat, try pulling back a little before or at the fist audible snaps. Slowing down the roast will help to keep from charring the tiniest beans. If you're roasting in a popper, I'd try shooting for City/City+ max and call it a day. Lighter roasts were my personal favorite anyway. And as espresso? I'm giving it my recommendation with the disclaimer that it's a wild ride, jam packed with the aforementioned fruit flavors distilled to a tart point that is puckering and slightly sharp when roasted any lighter than Full City. Not for everyone, but I sure love it.