|Region||Sidama and Limu|
|Processing||Wet Process then SWP Decaf|
|Drying Method||Raised Bed Sun-dried|
|Arrival date||December 2017|
|Bag size||60 KG|
|Cultivar Detail||Heirloom Cultivars|
|Appearance||.8 d/300gr, 15+ screen; broken beans from decaffeination|
|Roast Recommendations||City+ to Full City|
|Type||Decaf, Farm Gate|
|Recommended for Espresso||Yes|
Ethiopias have been shining star decafs for us, which only part of it has to do with the coffee itself. Don't get me wrong, the raw ingredients going into your decaf play a huge part in the resulting cup, since you know..."garbage in=garbage out". But if you have a beutiful cup and you subject it to harsh chemical decaf processes, then you stand to lose the volatile compounds that made it a delicious coffee to begin with. We navigate both parts of this equations by first choosing coffees we enjoy as non-decaf, and then send them off to be processed at the Swiss Water Decaf plant in Canada, where they employ a patented water processing method that uses no harsh chemicals to remove effectively 99.9% of the caffeine. The process is gentle, and leaves much of the flavor and aroma intact. And in the case of Ethiopian coffee such as this one, send off a coffee with inherent citrus and floral aspects, and receive a decaf with those same highlights in return. This particular Limu coffee comes from the Qota cooperative located in Agaro town, South-Western Ethiopia, not too far from Duromina, who have consistently produced some of our favorite western Ethiopian coffees. They are operating under the Keta Muduga Union, who we are buying from for the first time, and who showed us stellar harvest samples from Qota and a few others. The Unions provide agronomical support to the coops, and also have export licenses, which up until this year, has afforded the coops access to the global market.
Debub Merab has earth-toned cocoa smells and flavors at City+ and Full City. In the cup it reminds me of the grain sweetness you find in carob chips. There are fruited notes too, like natural dried apricot and raisin, mostly dried fruits, and they offer aromatic accents to the central bittersweet flavors found in the brew. Chocolate tones are surprisingly dominant even at light roast levels, and along with a malt and grain notes, a flavor culminates that's reminicent of a chocolate rye stout beer. I definitely sense the bready flavors that can come with decaf processing (not always), and creates an interplay between savory, sweet, and bittering flavors. This coffee shows best in the City+ to Full City roast range. Too light or too dark will compromise sweetness. It's normal to see some oil on the surface of the beans across the roast spectrum, as the decaffeination process breaks down the cellular structure of the coffee.