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Ethiopia Yabitu Koba

STORY

This coffee comes from the soaring heights of the Uraga region. Guji coffees have historically been sold as Sidamo, but over the last few years distinctions have been made between the regions. This is no doubt due to districts such as Uraga, which have been developing into innovative coffee production zones. When looking at an up and coming area, there are always people who have influenced the culture and the growth into what it is today, and one of those people in Uraga is Feku Jabril. Growing up in Gedeo, he set up a processing site in Northern Uraga called Senkola Hora, where he applied the knowledge of processing from his time of working with other mills in the area. 2014 was the year that Feku stopped processing at the Senkola Hora site, and began putting all his energy into a new site he named Hana Asarat. This site is located by the Yabitu Koba community, from which this coffee gets its name. This coffee is grown by the many small “garden” farmers in the Uraga area. These farmers grow their coffee on the few hectares around their house, where they have a shade canopy for the coffee, which mimics the conditions of the native coffee first grown in the dense forests. The farmers in the area will deliver cherry to the Hana Asarat site, where Feku and the team will process them with the precision of engineers. At the site, they ferment coffees underwater for 36-48 hours, then they wash the parchment with clean water to wash away the last traces of the mucilage. Once washed, the coffee dries on raised beds for 10-14 days, allowing the seeds to stabilize before milling and shipment.


ETHIOPIAN COFFEE VARIETIES

Often the information that is put forth when talking about Ethiopian varieties is heirloom or landrace. This has been used as a catch-all in the specialty coffee industry for years, beginning around the time that coffees were separated into microlots. In Ethiopia, we see lot separation of all sorts, usually by processing and milling station, and we border into the hyper-specific with screen size and even single producer lots. Given the current state of the supply chain in Ethiopia, the information known about what specific varieties are grown on smallholder farms is next to none. Ethiopian varieties can be split into two distinctions, JARC (Jimma Agricultural Research Centre) varieties, and regional landrace. The JARC varieties were developed to be pest resistant and high yielding. The landrace varieties are the wild coffees that have been growing in Ethiopia since coffee was first harvested. These vary by region, adding to what we would call the terroir of a coffee-growing region. As the supply chain shifts in Ethiopia, the industry will begin to get a better understanding of landrace varieties.

 

 

SUGGESTED USE

Wanna know more about how we brew? Then visit our brew methods page cause "this is how we brew it" (think Montell Jordan when reading that last part). 


FILTER – Kalita Wave 185
25g Coffee : 400g Water 205°F
50g Bloom
@ 0:30 Pour heavy in the middle to 160g total
@ 1:00 Pour steady spiral to 240g total
@ 1:30 Pour heavy in the middle to 320g total
@ 2:00 Pour steady spiral to 400g total
3:40 drain

This derivative of our traditional Kalita recipe is built to increase flow rate and highlight nuance a little more than body. It is also easier, with less pours, and less precision needed. Look for this coffee to be an exceptional example of Ethiopia. Bright and sweet pineapple sugar/nectar all day! Melon comes along as such a unique flavor note, followed by sweet tea and jasmine. Floral, fruity, and super sweet, this coffee has been a favorite around here. If this coffee drains too quickly, it loses a lot of sweetness and is punctuated by under-ripe pineapple. If this coffee drains too slowly, over-extracts, it tastes good but you'll experience the flavors falling apart and becoming bitter towards and into the finish.

ESPRESSO – Modbar EP
Brew Temp: 198°F, Line Pressure: ~3.5 bars, Max Pressure: 9 bars
Pressure Profile: 0 sec to 4 sec - line pressure, from 4 sec till done - 9 bars
19g in : 45g out @ 28s

This Ethiopia makes an outstanding espresso. So sweet, bright, and delicate. Look for that pineapple sugar melting on the tongue, with melon and floral sweet tea in the finish. It is bright, but approachable due to its sweetness. We liked it in cortados and cappuccinos, and there is gentle acidity, cashew, and tea in larger drinks. If this shot pulls too quickly, under-extracts, it tastes tart and looses its aftertaste and florals. If this shot pulls too long, over-extracts, it tastes tart, and takes on a chalky texture.

TRANSPARENCY

Ethiopia Yabitu Koba

This coffee came to us by way of our friends at Atlantic Specialty Coffee. Our friend Eton sometimes flags samples for us that he thinks we may like during harvest. This particular coffee we reserved before it arrived in the states. Upon arrival, we scored it at an 87.5, and we purchased fifteen 60-kg bags of this coffee for $4.08/lb ex-warehouse on a SAS contract.



- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $0.96/lb when we purchased this coffee.
- The Fair Trade Coffee minimum price was $1.60/lb when we purchased this coffee.

 

We as a company believe transparency is unbelievably important. However, we decided only to list what is shown here because we don’t know where to stop. Do we list the amount of coffee lost in roasting due to moisture loss? Should we list our roaster Mark's salary? The warehouse rent? The utilities? The point of listing things above is not to justify what we charge or what we profit, but to give a realistic snapshot of the industry and how Specialty Coffee can be different than other commodity industries. If you have concerns feel free to email us and I’ll write you back when I’m available. 

- Jon

 

RELATIONSHIP COFFEE

Relationship Coffee is an initiative we, at Onyx, have purposely created to describe our sourcing and buying practices and how we document them. Certifications like Direct Trade, Fair Trade, and others have impacted the coffee communities in mostly positive ways but also in some negative ways. We find that blanket terms and applying them to a multitude of business models no longer describes what we do.

 

In reality, every company is different, and we wanted to step out from the mold and create a new set of standards that exceeds in every department from quality to transparency to pricing. The growers, exporters, importers, associations, cooperatives, and other entities are always a set of relationships. To be honest, many are our friends as much as they are our producers and partners. We share information, family news, meals, housing, many faiths, and argue politics. Oh, and we love it. Relationship Coffee for Onyx is the mark of an honest exchange ethos that permeates our company, and we hope it encourages the growth of specialty coffee for the future.

 

GOALS

  • We visited the farm or cupping lab and listened to the producer/agronomist or head cooperative/association to ascertain better knowledge about the culture and practices.

  • We cupped the coffee, and it scored to our industry-high standards.

  • We do not buy futures or multiple harvests to ensure that what we cupped for that year is what we serve.

  • We do not ask for exclusivity from producers, binding their options.

  • We pay what the coffee is worth. This always is at least double Fair Trade minimum due to the quality we buy, and many times is three to ten times the amount.

  • We do not finance any coffee. Cash flow is just as important as the final price. Coffee is paid in full upon delivery, and we pay a percentage up front upon contracting. 

  • We are completely transparent from price to logistics to cupping score, to who we work with buying and shipping coffee.

  • We work to set premiums after a contracted price to incentivize quality and community building. This can be .10¢ - .25¢ extra per pound or community projects such as school supplies in the growing village, sports jerseys, vented chimneys for kitchen fires, etc.

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