This lot of Limu coffee comes to us via the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX), the government trading system set up to connect non-cooperative farm members to the global coffee market. We've discussed one downside of this system, which is that we really have no idea where the coffees coming out of the ECX originated. After the cherry is purchased from the farmer, it's graded, blended, and sold off. But this isn't such a bad thing, at least in this case. I mean, we do love a good story, but in the case of Ethiopia, a collector system dominates, one where hundreds of farmers are delivering coffee to either cooperatives, Unions, or the ECX, where they all grade and blend by region, and sell it with names referring to region, washing station, or simply grade. With each of these systems the individual farmer is hardly in the actual "picture", and most of the focus is put on the organizations they deal with. In the case of the ECX, it's a very straight-forward system, and one where farmers are paid cash upon delivery. For many farmers, this is a good thing, as they're able to immediately reinvest. And for us as buyers, we know how much money the contributing farmers were paid for this particular grade of coffee - it's all very transparent. This coffee story is much less romantic than those involving farm visits, family dinners, and the like. But the common thread lies in the confidence we have that the premium we paid was included in the payment these farmers received. Overall, this is a nice Q2 Limu, with quite a different cup character than the coffees from the south.
The dry fragrance of this Limu coffee has a honey and orange essence smell, a sort of light and fruited sweetness. Adding hot water builds a peaches and cream scent, heaps of brown sugar, and citrus hints. It's a clean smelling coffee, and the cup measures up too. There's a raw honey sweetness in the cup that fades into graham-like sweet grain flavor, cut through with nice cleansing acidity. As it cools stone fruit notes peek through, fleshy sweetness and bittering skins. A citrus essence comes up in the profile, like honey tangerine, and the cool cup adds hop-like brightness in the cup (slight floral aspect of IPA beer). It doesn't take too much roast to introduce smokiness to the cup, but I will also say that sweetness is bumped up toward Full City. You lose some of the citric brightness that is found at City/City+, but much of the actual citrus and stone fruit flavors are retained. I pulled a shot of espresso of the FC roast, and it's very viscous and sweet, and the citric brightness is a bit intense. Would work great as a highlight blend component.
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