As I sat to enjoy my coffee this morning, I looked out the window and saw snowy rooftops and a clearing sky. It has been snowing on and off all morning. While this moment was wonderful in itself, the coffee did add to the experience. I was drinking Jamila Abakeno, an Ethiopian coffee purchased from The Good Coffee Cartel.
Ever since I tried Bale Mountain from Steampunk Coffee, I have been fascinated by exploring floral flavours. I have in the past avoided these flavours on account of my lack of taste experience with floral notes. But, I have been surprised by how wonderful a floral coffee can taste. The Good Coffee Cartel, based in Glasgow, describes their Jamila Abakeno coffee as "super clean, super light, delicate, and floral," a description with which I fully agree.
This coffee contains two varietals I do not believe I have ever tried, 74110 and 74112. These varietals were developed at the Jimma Agricultural Research Centre in the 1970s, hence these coffees start with "74". Both of these coffees were selected for cultivation based on their resistance to coffee berry disease. These varietals produce short and compact trees. Both of these coffees are derived from Heirloom varietals.
The rest of the coffee is Ethiopian Heirloom, a common descriptor for varietals in Ethiopia. This umbrella term encompasses all of the varietals in Ethiopia that we know little about. Unlike varietals like pacamara or geisha, we have limited knowledge of many of the varietals in rural Ethiopia and their genetic codes.
This coffee was grown by Jamila Abakeno, the neighbour of Mustefa Abekano. Mustafa is a smallholder farmer who processes his own coffee—and coffee from other farms—on-site using his own wet mill. Coffee from other farms is kept separate, presumably to ensure the traceability of the coffees processed at Mustafa's wet mill. Interestingly, Mustefa processes coffee using both the washed and dry methods. But, the coffee I am tasting is washed.
The dry fragrance of this coffee reminded me of lemon and honey. Honey was the clearest fragrance. The wet aroma for this coffee carried the same descriptors, lemon and honey. This is the first coffee I have had with such clear honey notes, and like every coffee I was excited to take a sip.
On the first sip, I got clear notes of honey, which continued throughout the cup. As I continued to drink, I got notes of raspberry. This is a fruity coffee but the fruit is well-balanced with floral flavours and honey. The notes of raspberry were especially clear toward the end of the cup. I find this coffee, like a good box of chocolates, is moreish. The Good Coffee Cartel did warn of how easy it would be to drink a couple of cups of this coffee back-to-back.
Jamila Abakeno has a pleasing sweetness that is noticeable from the first sip, and a subtle citrus zest acidity that I feel balances well with the floral notes in this coffee. The finish of this coffee is long and lingering, leaving a clear reminder of the honey notes prevalent in this coffee. This coffee has a tea-like body, which I noticed in Bale Mountain, another Ethiopian coffee with floral notes I tried recently.
Jamila Abakeno is the first coffee I have brewed on my Kalita Wave for a review, although I tried a few cups before writing this review—like always—to make sure my brewing was dialled in appropriately. This is my third coffee from The Good Coffee Cartel and I have enjoyed each one. I shall continue to seek out coffees with floral notes.
About This Coffee
Varietal: Ethiopian Heirloom, 74110, 74112
Tastes: Honey, raspberry, floral and fruity notes
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