This Organic Natural Ethiopian offering comes to us from our friends at Royal Imports and is a part of their "Crown Jewels" series. The coffee itself comes from a community of producers that call themselves Gatame Muka. Gatame Muka is a community in Shakiso, who have partnered with Guji Highlands as a processor and exporter. Jilo Barko, Jarso Muda, and Teklu Miju cultivate a total of 31 hectares of coffee combined across their family farms, along with subsistence crops and local market produce. Even properties this “small” in the scope of global coffee production require a staff of 30 or more employees each just to pull off a successful harvest—and that is not including processing, storage, or the rest of it, of course.
And the coffee? It’s all the better: evolving cup profiles from this area have converted sworn Yirgacheffe lovers by combining the seductive aromatics of Gedeo zone with candylike cup structures, tangy lactic acidity, and, in the case of the best sundried coffees, mouthwatering tropical fruit. This particular lot from the Gatame Muka farmers shows a range of syrupy textures and fruit flavors. It’s also one of the year’s very first Grade 1 natural arrivals from Ethiopia; itself always a kind of holiday, but this year in particular despite COVID-19 delays in transportation, and flash flooding in the transit line for southern coffees, is a particular moment of relief and symbol of resilience.
The top qualities we see in Guji across the board are understandable given the landscape: if you embed expert processing in the heart of production, establish clear standards for interested growers, and pay well for the privilege of doing so, you’re bound to capture the best the land has to offer. Around the Guji Highland Estate where farms reach to 1900 meters and a single pesticide has never been used, that “best” is truly, truly something.
This coffee boasts some serious plum and grape like qualities both in flavors and acidity. Then in keeping in step with the purple tones in flavors there are purple aromatics where we smell light lilacs in the dry and brewed aromas. Lastly, you will experience a rounding out quality of both chocolate in the body and blackberries in the finishes.