Ethiopia is quite literally a jungle of coffee. Far from Latin America where varietals have been transplanted around the world and organised into coffee farms, Ethiopia takes us back to the organic and natural environment of coffee. Just as blackberries – an exotic imported fruit in the Middle East – grow wild in back gardens and woods in the United Kingdom, coffee grows wild in Ethiopia. As the famed-to birthplace of arabica coffee, Ethiopia naturally offers the most compelling mix of coffee varietals some of which, until this day, remain undiscovered. Ethiopia also enjoys a vast and dynamic topography which translates into a wide range of potential taste profiles. This jungle of coffee – a wild mix of native and to some extent unknown coffee plants – is what explains the vivid and exciting profiles that we source from Ethiopia.
The harvest in Ethiopia runs from November to February. Once processed and prepared, it typically arrives at the roastery in the late summer.
For us, Ethiopia is the most exciting origin from which we source beans. The potential for outstanding coffees with exceptional cup quality is very high. The complexity of we do not find elsewhere. There is no rule for us in terms of what we source; we simply follow cup quality. This can be vibrant (not over fermented) naturals, bright and brilliant washed options or, even lately, honeys. This also explains why we always have Ethiopian offerings at the roastery and why these noticeably change in profile each time. Just remember: we are selecting unique and different crops each time, which are themselves often a mixture of native varietals including Catuai, Typica and Geisha, in addition to other varietals that we do not yet know about. If you’re up for such wildness, look for the varietal ‘Heirloom’ when you see our Ethiopian offerings.