This dry process Sidama pushes molasses sweetness, dried and juicy fruit flavors that are bold, like dried blueberries and cranberries, blackberry, and fruit jam, along with understated limeade flavor and vibrance. City to Full City. Good for espresso.
This coffee is comprised of small farm lots within the Guji zone of Shakiso. The people are known as Guji Oromo, and coffee farming has been a core part of the culture in the highland areas. It's a distinct coffee from Yirga Cheffe, and Sidamo. Geographically, culturally, and in terms of cup flavors, these southern coffees have a different flavor profile while maintaining the same general characteristics: fruited notes, florals, and lively cup character. The cultivars used in Ethiopia are largely regional, distinct local strains of coffees that have spread from the wild forest plants of western Ethiopia, to Harar in the East and to the southern districts like Guji. We've carried washed coffee from this area, but washed are often the exception. They are known for producing some of the better dry-processed coffees in Shakiso, and for good reason, as you'll taste in this privately milled coffee, "Sidama Station". This is a Grade 3 dry process, which technically, all dry process coffees used to be classified as. The sorting of these dry process lots has gotten much better in recent years, some mills designating "Grade 1" status for those with several rounds of hand picking. This lot has been hand-picked, but you will find a few quaker beans in your roast, and in my experience, it's only worth removing the full quaker beans. Quaker beans are underripe coffee, and depending on how underripe, are considered either "full" (very light yellow, looks unroasted) or "partial" (tanner in color than "full"). They impart nutty/grain notes in the cup, especially in high concentration, and in particular the full quaker beans. For this review, I removed 3 full quakers from 100 grams of roasted coffee, but left any lighter shade beans in the mix.
The fragrance of the ground coffee is filled with dry fruit smells, berry-like accents topping the list. Both City and Full City roasts were teeming with berry smells, like they were dried at their peak ripeness, so sweet to the point of having a wine-like edge. It's important to make the distinction between having wine-like qualities, and flat out tasting like alcohol. I don't find the latter pleasing in coffee at all, and is generally a sign of too long a dry period with naturals, or long fermentation times with wet process, both negatively impacting a coffee's flavor profile, as well as ability to hold up over time. This Sidama DP has a necessary sweetness to back these winey fruited notes, as well as subtle acidity, both lending structure to this somewhat "wild" cup. The berry notes tasted in brews of City roasts have a sweet and tangy side, like blackberry, and sweetened dry cranberries. The sweetness is on the jammy side, with molasses sugar accents along the way that in tandem are an overt reminder of process method. Dry process Ethiopian coffees tend to be so much more fruit forward than wet process, and sugary flavors often showing a rustic side. That's an accurate portrayal of this Sidama DP, and as the cup cools, a Guji-like floral jasmine note appears, bringing out out a slightly delicate side to this mostly vibrant cup. An understated lime note appears in the finish, and has the affect of fresh squeezed lime in a Margarita made with fresh fruit juice. At Full City, bold chocolate notes are woven through a mesh of dried blueberry, and pomegranate juice flavors. I pulled one shot of espresso after letting my Full City roast rest for a full 4 days and the shot was intense: splash of blueberry juice and syrupy cocoa/chocolate flavors are up front, and it's a flavor of incredibly dark cacao bar that lasts in the finish.