Already this season, you've seen some incredible coffees on our menu out of Ethiopia. Arguably our favorite coffee producing country, we look forward to our trips to Ethiopia each year, and the opportunity to taste the fresh offerings from the various cooperatives.
In 2016, we made our trip to Africa in February with our friends at Red Fox Coffee Merchants, and spent a week in Addis as well as in the field, spending a few days in the eastern region surrounding the ancient city of Harar.
The cuppings in and around Addis were productive and fruitful. Already, you've had the opportunity to taste the first of these offerings, Yukro, which we first tasted at the Oromia Cooperative Union cupping lab. Now, we're pleased to add a few more to the table.
The first is Uraga, a coffee out of the Guji region that we've bought for a few years running now. Always stunning, this year we're getting tons of jasmine, melon, raspberry, and peach in the cup. It's refined, mellow, and incredibly refreshing. It's one of those coffees that can alter your perspective on how coffee can (and maybe should) taste.
We've also brought back a coffee that holds a special place in our hearts -- called Sota. Sota was one of the first Ethiopian coffees we bought in collaboration with Red Fox, and ended up being the coffee we won our first Good Food Award with. Year after year, we're drawn in by the subtleties of Sota, and the way it defies expectation. The sweetness is deep, and the acidity more effervescent than bright.
After spending a few days cupping in Addis, we took a short flight to the east, landing in Dire Dawa, where we did some more cupping at Moplaco's beautiful lab there, before beginning our journey into the mountains of Harar.
Eventually, after some beautiful (but dusty) driving into the mountains, we arrived in the village called Harew, where we were lucky enough to spend time with producers and the other members of their community.
The climate in Harar is incredibly arid, and very dry. Production this year was extremely low due to drought conditions. We saw very little coffee on the shrubs. This being said, the small amount that was harvested is really fantastic, and we're pleased to have purchased some, and to be able to present you with Harew.
Coffee processing in Harar has always been the traditional, sun-dried method. Generally, we don't get too excited about naturally processed coffees, as quality can be really inconsistent from variables in the drying process. However, the arid climate of Harar allows for very quick and even drying, which creates a much cleaner, refreshing, and nuanced experience in a sun-dried coffee. It's a totally unique experience, and something that gets us really excited.
These three coffees represent some of the best Ethiopia has to offer, while also highlighting the diversity in regions and flavors found in the country.
To give you a chance to taste all three together, we've created the Ethiopia Sample Pack, which contains a 4oz bag of each of these coffees, allowing you to compare, contrast, and enhance your understanding of Ethiopian coffee.