THIS COFFEE HAS SOLD OUT. Nano Challa has beautiful cup characteristics, white honey sweetness, mild fruit and floral notes at City to City+, with ginger snap cookie in the finish. An extremely clean cup-profile, and lighter mouthfeel suits the slight effervescence. City to Full City. Good for espresso.
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The Nano Challa Cooperative is part of an initiative we have in Ethiopia to work direct at the coop level. The name Nano Challa refers to a local mythic tale about a challenge to become King of Jimma, and the coop adopted it to signify their desire to be a strong cooperative. Indeed, many coops in the West of Ethiopia have struggled to find good buyers who will pay enough for the coffee, to manage their own debts, and from internal struggles and graft. Nano Challa was formed as part of a new initiative to aid farmers in a more comprehensive way. The program is administered by a non-government organization that not only coordinates agronomists and managers for each of the coops they work with, but also has a business adviser assigned that helps the cooperative manage their debt, re-invest in quality improvements at the mill, and verifies distribution of income to all members. Nano Challa is a smaller cooperative coffee mill near Gera town in the Agaro area, Western Ethiopia. (The area also has some of the finest honey available in Ethiopia). The farms are at altitudes between 1900 to 2100 meters, planted in old regional varieties of coffee.
Nano Challa has a very refined cup character, something that will definitely strike a chord with light roast purists. Floral, sweet, clean and bright - the improvements we've tasted over the years are a testament to how this particular farm relationship has paid off. The dry fragrance is loaded with honey sweetness and floral jasmine hints. Caramelized sugar and toffee smells come up from the wet crust, a candy sweetness that reminds me of torrone. All of this translates to a bright and well-structured cup flavor. There is Ethiopian white honey, which is mildly fruited in flavor, and a healthy dose of ginger spice (together making for a ginger-snap cookie flavor, particularly clear in the finish). Lighter roasts have a mild citrus note, jasmine flower, and Earl Grey tea. Citrus notes are especially built up in deeper roast levels, along with a Ricola-like dark herbal aspect. Nano Challa has a lighter mouthfeel that suits it's bright and effervescent cup flavors. Nano Challa cups OK at Full City+, but loses the intense sweetness and bouquet of fruit that is afforded at lighter roast levels.