About the bean
An inland city in the southwest of Ethiopia, Djimmah (pronounced Jimma), is one of Ethiopia's five major coffee-growing regions. Coffee here is cultivated at high altitudes under cover of forest shade which offers growers more topsoil protection and enriched soil, as well as higher quality, denser beans. To dry, beans are laid out beneath the hot sun. In general, expect a good body and a winey, gamey taste.
A grade five bean (GR5) indicates the greater likelihood of defects compared to a Grade 1 bean. As such, we don't expect too much of a wow factor from the Djimmah, but, as our in-house coffee expert, Priscila, always says: "Never give up on an Ethiopian!"
We taste tested this bean as a City roast using a V60 drip brewer and as a Full City roast brewed in a French press. The roasting profile selected will enhance the flavour possibility of a bean, and, in this case, these roast levels produced a salty cup! You usually like salt or you like sweet and those of us who prefer the former really liked this one. The City profile was definitely the better of the two for body, taste and brightness (acidity) - a surprisingly balanced cup.
So, is that it for Djimmah?
Not quite. Priscila, our above-mentioned resident coffee fiend, took our salty buddy Djimmah home and blended a 50/50 ratio of the Djimmah with Guatemala Antigua (also a City roast), counting on the Antigua to add more body and delicate fruit notes. Instead of her go-to AeroPress coffee plunger, she opted for a Bialetti stovetop espresso maker to brew her blend and the result was "amazing!" Way to go, Djimmah! Priscila preferred her blend to the popular Antigua on its own (high praise indeed) and declared:
"Djimmah is a star for blends when it comes to price and flavour".
Species: Coffee Arabica
Processing: Dry (unwashed)
Altitude: 1,340 and 1,830 masl.
Grade: Grade 4 (GR5 indicates the greater likelihood of defects compared to a Grade 1 bean)
Acidity: Medium to light
Good for: Espresso, plunger, drip or siphon coffee and BLENDS!
Roast recommendation: Light to medium. We liked a City roast. The body should increase the darker you go but we found the opposite with this bean.
About the bean
We have long wanted to try coffee from Bolivia and, finally, our ship(ment) has come in.
Referred to as the Tibet of the Americas, Bolivia is the most isolated of the Andean nations. Its diverse landscape ranges from high-altitude mountains to jungles teeming with wildlife. Visitors treasure Bolivia for its lively culture steeped in tradition, as well as its numerous attractions ranging from Inca trails to fossilized dinosaur footprints (the world's largest collection). Of special interest is the spectacular Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat (10,582 sq km) on earth, with a surface resembling mirrored glass when wet. Other "attractions" include the notorious Death Road - a 64km route, with a 3,500m descent, that draws thrill-seekers at their peril.
Bolivia isn't as well known for its coffee, yet; although the country certainly has what it takes to become a producer of note thanks to that magic bean combination of elevation, fertile soil and consistent rainfall. Driving the industry's momentum is a growing cooperative movement (and the broad benefits of more money in the hands of growers), and the country's move into specialty labelling (Fair Trade, organic and shade grown).
Discover this rare treat.
Source: Asociación Integral de Productores Ecológicos de Pumiri (AIPEP)
Process: Washed Arabica
Varieties: 30% Typica, 25% Caturra, 20% Catuai, 15% Castillo, 10% Mundo Novo
Altitude: 1300-1550 masl.
Certifications: Fair Trade and Organic - IMO Control since 2002
SHG: Strictly High Grown; same as Strictly Hard Bean/SHB. High grown, usually denser and higher quality than a Hard Bean (HB) or High Grown (HG). These beans are grown above 1,200 masl. (metres above sea level).
EP: (European Prep) Indicates the coffee has undergone rigorous sorting - usually by hand to ensure defective beans and foreign material have been removed.
At a light roast (American brewed in a V60 pour over), the Bolivia offers a pronounced sweetness. A smooth mouthfeel with a medium-light body, the cup delivers a range of chocolate flavour from milk to salty caramel.
At a darker roast just shy of Full City (brewed in a French press), the bean's chocolate character really hit the mark; light in the mouth but richly flavorful. This gave us our best impression - a very nuanced cup, strong in personality; an excellent combination.
As a latte at a Full City profile, the Bolivia produced a standout specialty brew - bold and tasty.
When we roasted darker (Vienna brewed as a pour over), the Bolivia's character changed quite a bit: a hard-to-miss licorice underlay that carried to a burnt finish.
Roast recommendation: Light for nuance and medium-dark for chocolate gold. Clearly, we were sold on the Full City profile. Home roasters tell us they really enjoyed a "velvety" result at a City roast. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
About the bean
Strictly Soft (SS) | Fine Cup (FC)
The Swiss Water Process begins with pure water and ends with amazing coffee that is 99.9% caffeine free.
Brazilian beans with a 17/18 screen size tend to be a more consistent, higher quality offering without the pungent floral notes associated with smaller, less mature beans.
Fine Cup (FC) beans are a specialty grade coffee. Strictly Soft (SS) beans are grown at relatively low altitudes (under 4,000 ft).
Medium body, chocolate and nut notes. Good for both drip and espresso.View full product details
About the bean
Pulped natural coffees are inclined towards sweetness and a rich, creamy taste. They are generally lower in acidity with more body than washed coffees, and offer a cleaner, more uniform cup than natural processed coffees. Pulped natural processing involves one more step than natural coffee processing: once the cherries are harvested they are pulped to remove the skin. The cherry seeds are extracted with mucilage (a sticky residue) intact. For washed coffee, the cherry seeds with mucilage would typically transfer to a fermentation tank but the pulped natural method lays out the seeds to dry on a raised bed or patio, which allows air to flow above and below for a higher-quality coffee. In this way, the characteristics of the coffee seed are deepened.
Brazilian Pulped Natural Coffee offers various notes: slightly fruity, berry, sweet, as well as chocolatey in flavour. Balanced and aromatic, medium acidity.
Roasting recommendation: Light to medium roast.
View full product details
About the bean
Even though nearly 75% of Brazil's coffee farms are considered small farm plantations (less than 10 acres each), Brazil has one of the industry's best, most advanced coffee processing systems.
Brazilian Santos gourmet coffee beans are processed using a natural dry method, which dries the coffee bean inside the cherry. This process ensures some of the fruit's sweetness remains.
Santos is the port much of Brazil's coffee passes through, it is not a coffee region.
Strictly Soft (SS-top grade): Grown at a lower altitude, this bean is less acidic than denser beans. The medium-toned brightness it does possess is somewhat reminiscent of tobacco/spice at first taste, but caramel is the longer note. This is a sweet bean and makes an excellent base for espresso.
Species: Coffea Arabica
Appearance: 17-18 Screen
Flavour: Good for espresso (lots of crema and body)
Roast recommendation: City to Full City (soft bean, will roast quickly)