You know how they say, “Be careful what you wish – you might get it”? Sometimes, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Like a few weeks ago. Some good friends of mine over at 1000 Faces Coffee in Athens, GA, kept tweeting and tweeting about some new Ethiopian coffees that were blowing them away. I jokingly tweeted back, “Arrrrgh! Stop it! Suffering from coffee envy now. All your fault. Send me coffee to blog about and I’ll forgive you. ;-P”.
So they did. (I love these guys.) Coffee love in 8oz packages arrived soon after our Twitter discourse, and I got down to some serious coffee drinking. I generally brew my coffee in a number of pour-over methods, primarily the Clever Dripper and the Hario V60. Testing coffees as espresso is not really an option yet, although I do have a Mypressi. Hopefully a real espresso machine is in my near future.
The coffees I got? One was a natural process ARDI from the Sidama region of Ethiopia, a coffee that had been well-received in the previous harvest season, and showed great promise this time around. The other was a washed process coffee, Kochere, a Yirgacheffe, also from Ethiopia. If I’m not mistaken, the Kochere was the coffee used to win the 2011 U.S. Brewer’s Cup competition, by Andy Sprenger of Caffe Pronto.
First, the ARDI. The most noticeable thing about this coffee, for me, was the fruitiness in the cup. I think a lot of this has to do with the natural process method, when the flavor attributes of the ripe cherry are absorbed into the bean. And it is really fruity! Almost like drinking a citrus juice like lemon or orange juice, but with this added undertone of pineapple and wild dewberries (you might call them blackberries). The mouthfeel of this coffee is impressive, as well – a distinct creamy texture that works well the the chocolate finish.
The Kochere surprised me. I’ve had some Yirgacheffe coffees in the past that didn’t impress me. I’m a sucker for a fruity Sidama, and the Yirgs I’d had were heavy on the cedar, with a very clean, crisp finish. Not much fruit, though. This Kochere, though, was fabulous, especially when I tried it as an iced coffee. Honestly, I’ve loved it every method I’ve used so far. There was a very nice floral aromatic going on, with a honeyed orange taste, and a toffee-like, almost caramel finish. Very sweet.
I wanted to point something else out, that I just love about 1000 Faces. Take a good look at the artwork on their labels. The ARDI and the Kochere both had the same griffin motif on the front, but with different-colored backgrounds. I’ve seen other labels for their coffees, and in my opinion, they’re some of the most beautiful in the industry. Major kudos to their graphic artist!
Thanks, to the fine people at 1000 Faces. Y’all are a credit to the special coffee industry!