The cup works well throughout the roast range. Lighter roasts have jasmine floral notes, and Earl Grey tea. Plum-apricot is apparent as well, but as the roast approaches second crack, pleasantly bittering baker's chocolate dominates. City to Full City.
Wakito Madallu is at the end of the road -you pass by another coffee cooperative we buy from on the way here, Alaga Sekala. The wet mill itself is at 2000 meters ... very high. In fact on the road headed to the Wakito Madallu mill I logged a smallholder coffee farm at 2144 meters on my GPS unit. This coffee is part of a new 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. 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.
The coffee is more muted in the dry fragrance than other wet-process Ethiopias, but opens up when you add hot water. Stone fruit notes (plum, apricot) are complimented by cocoa roast tones, turning to more intense bittersweet chocolate at Full City roast. The cup works well throughout the roast range. Lighter roasts have jasmine floral notes, and Earl Grey tea. Plum-apricot is apparent as well, but as the roast approaches second crack, pleasantly bittering baker's chocolate dominates. I prefer the juicy mouthfeel and more complex fruit flavors at City+ level, even though the roast looks a little uneven bean-to-bean. As it cools, the lightest city roast has a strong tangerine citrus brightness that emerges, and the finish is pleasantly dry.