A late harvest, dry-processed coffee from the Shoye cooperative. This is a potent cup with intense fruit, strawberry and spice. Dark brown sugar sweetness and berry flavors with cinnamon stick and aromatic wood marking the creamy-caramel finish. This is a small bean lot with many peaberries; Use caution in the Behmor, and use the Small Grid Behmor drum too. Roast: City+ for the most intense fruit flavors; Full City for more dark roast tones and spice.
Let's decode the name first of all: "Shoye Union" is the specific cooperative mill where this coffee originates. A Union = a cooperative. FTO = Fair Trade and Organic certified. Most importantly under current Ethiopia laws, this means the lot can be exported with the name of the mill intact. The process for this DP special selection involves harvesting ripe cherry, promptly screen-drying on raised beds, and extra steps in sorting the coffee after it is hulled. This differs from other dry-process Ethiopia coffees, which are often sometimes assembled at the tail-ends of the crop, indiscriminately picked, and consolidated later (mixing good coffee with bad). The result is that this coffee has less distraction in terms of earthy, hidey or musty flavors, common in average DP Sidamo coffees. To the contrary, This lot from Shoye a wonderful cup with intense fruit, strawberry in the light roasts, and spice in the darker roasts. The dry fragrance is bold; blueberry and dried strawberry scents dominate, and a strong, somewhat rustic malt-caramel sweetness. The wet aroma has a syrupy fruit character. The cup has dark brown sugar sweetness to it, and the berry flavors are present, but accented with spice notes. Cinnamon stick and aromatic wood (somewhat cedary) mark the finish, but the dominant flavor in the aftertaste is a creamy-caramel sweetness. The body is syrupy, and as it cools the cup takes on a fruit flavor I can compare to cooked peaches, ie peach pie. If you spend some time culling out iffy beans the cup has a more concentrated sweetness, and less rustic or nutty notes. It's a dry-process coffee, by no means perfect in preparation. This is a very small bean lot, with many peaberry grains in it. It might cause a bit of an issue in a Behmor roaster with a standard drum (but not so much for the small grid / fine screen drum). There are a few quakers in here too, and ideally those are removed post roast. We sent a portion of this coffee for decaffeination too, so we will have it both as "regular" and "decaf" soon. An interesting "Fair Trade" note - while this is FT certified we actually bought this for less than any other Ethiopia coffee this year. That might tell you something about both FT, as well as how we pay higher prices for cup quality, which nets the producer more than a certificate in the case of Ethiopia.