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It's pronounced like the band, but with a b instead of a v, and we have a gut feeling you'll like it. Coffee of the month for August!
Debo is the first in our line of 2018 Ethiopian coffees, and we're gonna be slamming it all summer. It's bright, floral, complex, and refreshing, perfect for the hot weather over the next few months.
Many of us coffee nerds gush about Ethiopia - it's the birthplace of arabica coffee, and has more genetic diversity in its coffee than any other country on earth. There's something undeniably romantic about that. But it's also undeniable that the genetic diversity contributes to flavors that are unique and only found in Ethiopia, and wildly different from one part of the country to the next.
This particular coffee comes from the Kochere woreda (roughly, village) in Yirgacheffe, arguably one of the most famous and prized regions of the country. We at Huck tend to fall in love with at least two Yirgs each year - the clean floral and citric flavors predominant tend to put these coffees at the top of our cuppings each year. Smallholder farmers in Kochere deliver their coffee cherry to the Debo washing station, where it is depulped and dried on raised beds.
Among the first wave of Ethiopia arrivals this year, Debo stood out. The florals are undeniable, and it tastes like juicy stonefruit, watermelon, and sweet limeade. Is it the best coffee paired with milk? Maybe not. But it is delicious on its own, and we'll be brewing it both hot and iced throughout the sunny days of summer.
This is Huckleberry's fifth year working with the Long Miles Coffee Project in the Muramvya province of Burundi, and our third year roasting a natural-processed fruitbomb from Gitwe hill.
Unlike our other Long Miles coffees and prior years of Gitwe Natural, this lot does not come from the numerous smallholder farms on Gitwe, but from Long Miles' new model farm on the top of the hill. This farm is still a community effort, but is meant to be a place where the Carlson family can model best practices and try experiments that might be too costly or expensive for one of the group's member farmers to undertake on their own. This particular lot comes from the 32nd day of the 2017 harvest.
Naturals - which are dried in the coffee cherry instead of washed of their fruit first - are tough to produce well, and easy to mess up. It was actually illegal to export naturals from Burundi until just a few years ago. Luckily for us, Long Miles began experimenting before legalization, and the naturals from Gitwe have been a home run.
We've been loving our washed lot from Gitwe, and this natural lot is a banger, too. It bursts with the juicy strawberry we've come to expect from the best Ethiopian naturals, but also packs some of the hallmarks of our favorite washed Burundis. We taste a bit of sweet-savory complexity, honey, and bubblegum flavors to complement the fruit-forward strawberry and melon sweetness.View full product details
It kinda makes us feel old to say it, but this is the fifth year in a row that Huckleberry has roasted coffees from the Long Miles Coffee Project in Burundi. Each year the coffees seem to get better.
To be honest, the first year with Long Miles was rough. Three years ago Colline Ninga raised the bar, and two years ago both Colline Ninga washed and Gitwe Natural were excellent. This is the second year we’ll bring a triple threat of three great coffees from these growers in the hills (collines, in French) of Burundi's Muramvya province. We'll roll out another washed lot from Colline Ninga and a natural from Gitwe a bit later this winter, but first up is a delicious washed coffee from growers on the Gitwe hill.
Burundi has produced coffee for quite some time, but the country's progression towards producing high quality specialty coffee was interrupted in the 1990s and early 2000s by political unrest and ethnic violence, some of which spilled over the border from Rwanda during and after that country's genocide. Despite the continued threat of political instability, and the challenges of being a poor, landlocked country, farmers from Burundi are successfully improving their coffee each and every year, and specialty coffee's higher prices seem to have a major impact on quality of life in the country's coffee growing regions. Moreover, we love the flavors of a great coffee from Burundi.
The Long Miles Coffee Project was founded by Ben and Kristy Carlson, an American couple living in Burundi. Upon seeing the difficulties Muramvya farmers faced while Ben was working as a coffee trader, the Carlsons built two washing stations in the region, and have worked with area farmers to help them fetch better prices. By working with the farmers to develop stringent quality practices at the farm level, then washing and milling the coffee with meticulous care, Long Miles is able to ensure that the coffee is of the highest quality possible. By working with Huckleberry and other roasters who commit to coffees before they've shipped from Burundi, the Long Miles Coffee Project is able to pay the farmers a higher price for their coffee than they would receive on the open market and from other washing stations.
Gitwe is a specific hill near Long Miles' Heza washing station and this coffee comes exclusively from the Long Miles farmers living on that hill. We tasted several lots from Gitwe this year, and were most impressed with this day lot from the 38th day of harvest, with notes of date, brown sugar, peach, and candied citrus. It’s sweet, it’s complex, and we think it’s hella delicious.View full product details
We're almost at the point where we're losing track, but this is the sixth year roasting Ardi! This is our favorite natural year after year, and our 2018 lot is loaded with the in-your-face fruit and subtle chocolate we've come to expect, and also packs some lovely florality. We're stoked to have one of our all time favorites back in the quiver!
Coffee is the seed of a fruit, and most of the coffee we roast and drink is washed - that is, the fruit is removed from the seed before drying. For Ardi and other natural-process coffees, the coffee is dried with the fruit still intact, and the dried cherry is removed during milling. This process imparts a uniquely fruity, jammy quality to the coffee, though improper and uneven drying carries a distinct risk of off, funky flavors and early fading.
Our importer, Samuel Demisse of Keffa Coffee, works directly with Israel Degefa's washing station in the town of Kilenso Mokonisa, Sidama to ensure that Ardi is picked and processed to the most exacting standards. Approximately 1500 farmers contributed to Ardi, and 200 women carefully manage the coffee’s drying process, removing over- or under-ripe cherries and constantly rotating the cherries to ensure evenness. Ardi is dried on raised beds to start, but unlike most Ethiopian coffees, finished on concrete patios for the final few days of drying.
This year's crop has all of the juicy mixed berries and milk chocolate we've come to expect from Ardi, but is one of the most complex versions of this coffee we've had yet. We're also tasting lavender and guava, and we're not complaining about it. Juicy, fruity, and jammy, and one of our all-time favorites!View full product details