The cup is remarkable, with a strawberry/blueberry jam-like fruit character, butterscotch sweetness, vanilla bean, pineapple brightness, and a buttery finish. Darker roasts have black currants, purple grape fruits and more cocoa-chocolate in the finish. As it cools black tea and chai-like spices emerge; cinnamon, star anise, pepper pungency and a dash of nutmeg. A complex coffee that inspires many, many descriptors: syrupy fruited flavors, complex sugar-browning sweetness, pleasantly bittering cocoa notes, and tea/spices. It's a fantastic cup if you like over-the-top dry-processed coffees. City to Full City+.
This coffee works at a wide range of levels from City to Full City + or darker, but the brighter jam-like fruited sweetness is going to be found with a well-developed lighter roast, around City+, and well before the coffee enters 2nd crack. That said, we loved FC roast too.
This is a Grade One selection of coffee from the Aricha kebele in Yirga Cheffe, South Ethiopia. It's a dry-processed coffee with intense fruited character, body and sweetness, and has received extra care in preparation to exclude under-ripe coffee cherries, those that result in astringent notes in the cup. Dry-processing means that the coffee was not pulped (the outer skin removed) and fermented to remove the fruity mucilage layer. In dry-processing, the coffee cherry is picked and laid out in raised "beds" in the sun, turning the red fruit to a deep brown color over the course of two weeks. After a storage period, the coffee seed is hulled out in one step, removing all the dried skin, fruit and parchment layers at the same time. The Aricha was prepared to the standards for Grade 1, which means removing over-ripe and under-ripe cherries that can be seen in the final green coffee as with either shiny green silverskin coating the bean, or fermenty sour beans that are more yellow than usual. This extra work improves the overall cup quality and consistency of the results.
Aricha is an extremely potent coffee in aromatic terms; it's a coffee you can smell throughout the house when you grind it. The ground coffee has strong fruit scents of strawberry, dried peaches, pineapple and mango, as well as mixed tropical fruit salad. The sweetness is like butterscotch, maple, pralined nut, and caramel in the lighter roast, with more cocoa powder aspect at Full City. Adding hot water, the aromas are in the same vein, intense fruits and strong sweetness; butter caramels, lychee, berries, and candied almonds. The cup is remarkable, with a strawberry/blueberry jam-like fruit character, butterscotch sweetness, vanilla bean, pineapple brightness, and a buttery finish. With a darker roast treatment there is black currants and purple grape fruits that emerge, with more cocoa-chocolate in the finish at Full City level. The finish in the darker roast cools to black tea and chai-like spices; cinnamon, star anise, pepper pungency and a dash of nutmeg. The list of flavors we had from our test samples is too long to list; it's a complex coffee that inspires many, many descriptors. The general groupings involved syrupy fruited flavors, complex sugar-browning sweetness, some pleasantly bittering cocoa notes, and tea/spices. It's a fantastic cup if you like over-the-top dry-processed coffees.