For over the holiday season, I purchased two bags of coffee from The Good Coffee Cartel. Well, I should say canisters rather than bags. Their coffee comes in reusable canisters and you can request a refill if you live near their store. One of the canisters I purchased was their Ethopia Adado coffee, the first coffee they have ordered for a second time.
While Ethiopia is the “birthplace of coffee,” larger plantations on which coffee is grown are harder to come by than you may see in a country like Brazil. In Ethiopia, many farmers own less than a hectare of land, often even less.
These farmers usually send their coffee to a central processing station where it is mixed with other farms. This does affect the traceability of the coffee – it is hard to find out exactly what coffees were being process on a given day – but it lets farmers earn money for what they grow without having to produce a larger batch. It is common to see coffees traceable down to either a cooperative – a group of farmers who pool resources for their common interests – or to a processing station.
Sourced from the Adado washing station in Shara, Guanga, Yirgacheffe, the Good Coffee Cartel’s Adado coffee takes its name from the station at which it was processed. Adado is a collection of coffees from local farmers. This coffee is naturally processed which means that the coffee fruit was left to dry out in the sun during which time the mucilage broke down.
Interestingly, this is my first coffee from the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia, famed for its quality coffees. The most common varietals in this region – and the one of which Adado is comprised – are Ethiopian heirlooms. This is common in Ethiopian farming because farmers who pool their cherries do not always know what exact varietal they are growing.
Let’s get on to the taste of this coffee. After grinding this coffee, I got a strong smell of toffee, accompanied by raspberry. Like always, this foreshadowed what was to come next. During the brewing process I inhaled intense fruit aromas, bringing to mind cherry and raspberry. When I sat down with my cup, raspberry, vanilla, and toffee aromas were clear. I could hardly wait to take a sip of this coffee.
My first sip of the cup brought a fruity flavour which I noted was raspberry. As the cup progressed, I got notes of toffee which complemented the fruitiness of this coffee well. Fruit was present throughout the cup, making a comeback toward the end with a lovely burst of fruit. Raspberry was the most prominent flavour in this cup for me.
Adado is an acidic coffee, a characteristic I have come to appreciate in fruity coffees. Indeed, it is fruit acids that contribute fruity flavours to coffee, so any fruity coffee should carry some acidity. Adado has a delicate sweetness; not so subtle as to be difficult to detect, but not overpowering either.
This coffee is complex, carrying with it notes of vanilla, raspberry, and toffee. Like many Ethiopian coffees, this one had a pleasing tea-like body, and a long-lasting finish. As I write – about twenty minutes after my last sip – I still have a hint of fruit in my mouth, reminding me of the delicious cup of coffee I just consumed.
You can read more about Adado on The Good Coffee Cartel’s website. I look forward to trying the other Ethiopian coffee I ordered from The Good Coffee Cartel.
I like to think of coffee as snowflakes. No two coffees are the same, even if they are from the same farm. I have come to appreciate this more as I learned about the idea of “day-lots,” a practice in speciality coffee where coffees are separated by the day on which they are harvested. I am content trying many new Ethiopians because I know there is a surprise to be found in every cup.
About This Coffee
Varietal: Ethiopian heirloom
Tastes: Raspberry, vanilla, toffee, fruity