THIS COFFEE HAS SOLD OUT. Janbar is an intense brew, so fruited and sweet, with a clarity that sets it apart from your standard dry process coffee. Mixed fruit jams, lychee, apricot nectar, with tea-like and jasmine floral aromatics. City to Full City. Wild as espresso (Full City recommended for espresso).
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There were a few coffees from ECX this year that we just couldn't pass up. It's difficult to fill out our lists by exclusively dealing with cooperatives, and even with the availability of privates, we still find ourselves on the hunt for more. This is one of a couple lots we picked up through the auction system that cupped absolutely fantastic. As a matter of fact, it's one of the highert scoring Ethiopian coffees of the year for us (92.5). "Janbar" means "sun" in Amharic, and these bags came in with the name "Sunny Yirga Cheffe". I like the way that sounds - sunny, light, bright - kinda like this coffee cups! Plus it's a dry process coffee, so it makes sense. We do know it's from Yirga Cheffe, which helps, but washing station information is stripped upon submitting their coffees (there's been work on a "Geo-Certification" program, where station info could be tracked for each lot - but that's still in trial stages). That is one problem with the ECX. But a couple benefits of using this route is that you know the farmers who submitted this Grade 1 separation were paid accordingly, rewarded for the high quality - and paid up front - all very traceable. This is key for many farmers as often sales through cooperatives involve an initial payment, and then second payment once the coffee is sold. Having cash up front is useful for many things, reinvestment in farming needs notwithstanding. This is all going to be a thing of the past in the upcoming season, as we're entering the first post-ECX buying season, and now private mills will be able to bypass the ECX altogether and represent their coffee themselves. Hopefully this translates into an increased level of transparency, as well as demand for higher premiums for the local coffee producers. Time will tell, and I'm sure we will too once we have the experience to draw from.
Janbar is at the top of our list of best naturals this season, in terms of of fruited tones and cup clarity. For fans of natural-processed coffees, it fits the definition of 'special' in every way. Uniquely sweet, ripe fruit flavors are only the beginning of what the cup has to offer. The fragrance allures, ripe peach and other stone fruits are vibrant, berry candies (reminds me of strawberry Starburst). "Intense" is an apt description, a bit winey and quite nice! Adding hot water brings out tropical smells, and tinted by citrus and raspberry juice, the break releasing a faint jasmine floral note. The cup shines from City to Full City roast levels, and our lightest roast showed strong berry flavors, pleasant tartness, and a winey finish. The aroma is both tea-like and floral, which along with top notes of lychee, apricot, mixed fruit jam, and more, helps to spin a complex flavor web. Deeper roasting constructs a syrupy chocolate base, which comes off like berry chocolate ganache, so rich and bittersweet. Flavors come with clean expression, lacking "process" flavors that are often found in naturals, overripe, souring ferment and such. At City body is medium, and this aspect builds with roast level. City+ and Full City are very juicy, and the darker end of this spectrum will make for a pretty crazy espresso - an outlier for sure, but sweet, with a very fruited dark chocolate flavor.