This coffee from Duromina Cooperative is part of an initiative we have in Ethiopia to work direct at the coop level. The program is administered by a non-government organization that not only coordinates agronomists and managers for each of the coops they work with, but also has a business adviser assigned that helps the cooperative manage their debt, re-invest in quality improvements at the mill, and verifies distribution of income to all members. This is a key position; I have never known a coop to get this kind of expert advice from outside ... not in Africa at least. A cooperative can make all kinds of quality improvements, turn out fantastic coffee, and sink deeper in debt all the while. Cooperatives often fail to return a fair and full amount of payment to their farmer-members. Often this is from poor management, and sometimes from graft as well. With this lot we can verify that the great price we paid will result in a fair distribution of funds, a better managed coop, investment in the mill, and even better coffee next year! There will be about 10 coffees we offer this year from this system, Duromina being one of the first to arrive. Duromina is in the Goma Woreda, with farm altitudes between 1900 to 2100 meters. I was there last November we brought a home roaster, and powered by car battery and an inverter, held an entire cupping for the coffee farmers! Duromina won the all-Africa cupping competition at the EAFCA conference this year in Addis!
Duromina is a sweet, delicate and well-structured cup, totally different from the typical dry-process Jimma coffees. The fragrance from the dry grounds is floral like cherry blossoms, has stone fruit (apricot & ripe peach) and burnt sugar sweetness. As I add the hot water, there is intensely sweet smell of apricot preserves, jammy, with floral scents as well. Intensely perfumed and floral aromatics permeate the crust along the lines of more fruit blossoms. The wet aroma is floral, peach tree in bloom, almond extract, a hint of cherry (City+ roast). The cup has very refined flavor characteristics, not a "big" coffee, but a restrained, articulate and elegant one. My lightest roast (City) have amazing southern sweet tea-like sweetness, rainier cherry notes, peach essence, lightly caramelized sugars and sweet grain. With a little more roast (City+), the dark fruit flavor intensify, think black cherry, comes to the forefront with Assam tea in the finish. At Full City the chocolate starts to dominate. The body is relatively light, complimenting the cleanly disappearing sweetness and fruit jam flavors. This is a coffee that intensifies greatly as it cools, so to truly appreciate it, focus on the taste as the cup loses temperature. This coffee is wonderful as SO espresso.