Notes of Ethiopian white honey, which is fruited in flavor, toffee almond, kumquat, pomello, watermelon, and sweet citrus rounded out by a juicy acidity. This coffee finishes nicely with toasted hazelnut, weighty mouthfeel. At darker roast levels fruit juice sweetness no longer dominates the cup and is traded for Dutch cocoa and very dark sugars. Good SO espresso. City+ to Full City.
This particular lot of Nano Challa was processed during the "Eid Al-Adha" holiday week, or "Festival of Sacrifice". The holiday commemorates the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son. Unfortunately, since many Ethiopians take a much needed vacation during this week, it's often the case that coffee production gets sacrificed which can translate to spotty processing. We were pleasantly surprised to find this lot to be the happy accident of Eid Al-Adha, and thus reason to celebrate this "holiday" coffee, which in this crop was around November 6 harvest date. The Nano Challa Cooperative is part of an 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. Nano Challa is in the Gera Woreda, with farm altitudes between 1900 to 2100 meters.
Overall, this year's Nano Challa cupped a lot "bigger" than last - and last year's was no slouch. Floral, sweet, clean and bright - this marked improvement is a testament to how this particular farm relationship has paid off. The dry fragrance is loaded with honey, cherry, cocoa butter, and hints of jasmine. Caramelized sugars, and peach come through on the break, with a candy sweetness akin to fruit bubble gum. All of this translates to a complex cup. There is Ethiopian white honey, which is fruited in flavor, and a healthy dose of toffee almond. The culmination of fruited notes, such as kumquat, pomello, watermelon, and sweet citrus are brought out in the cup, which is rounded out by a juicy acidity. This coffee finishes nicely with toasted hazelnut. Nano Challa has a substantial, and weighty mouthfeel. At darker roast levels fruit juice sweetness no longer dominates the cup and is traded for Dutch cocoa and very dark sugars. We pulled espresso shots of the Full City roast with amazing results - deep red fruits, loads of dark chocolate, pure cream, and cranberry brightness. Nano Challa cups OK at Full City+, but loses the intense sweetness and bouquet of fruit that is afforded at lighter roast levels.