The term gingerbread perfectly describes the spicy sweetness, honey and caramelized sugar present in the cup. Moderated by bergamot citrus, and tannin tea-like notes of Earl Grey. Light body increases as the cup cools, waxy mouthfeel, walnut oil. It's a very aromatic, delicate and distinct cup. City to City+ is ideal, or Full City for SO espresso.
Suke Quto is a producer group in the southern Guji zone of Shakiso. The people are known as Gujii Oromo, and coffee farming has been a core part of the culture in the highland areas. It's a distinct coffee from Yirga Cheffe, and Sidamo. Geographically, culturally and in terms of cup flavors, these southern coffees have a different flavor profile, while maintaining the same general characteristics; citrus and floral accents, a lively cup character. While dry-process Guji lots, which are more widely available, tend to have a generic fruity flavor found also in dry-process Sidamos (or dry-process coffees from nearly anywhere in Ethiopia), it is the transparency of the wet-process that reveals the distinctiveness of these regional lots. Add to this the fact that cultivars used in Ethiopia are largely regional, distinct local strains of coffees as they spread from the wild forest plants of western Ethiopia, to Harar in the East and the southern districts like Guji. Late last year I visited the Suke Quto group. Because they own farm land and process their own coffee, they have license to export, and we could form this direct trade link with them.
This is a very unique flavor profile. From the dry grounds, jasmine-violet floral scents are clear, as well as ginger, malt sugars and honey. My lightest roasts have a graham cracker wet aroma (nice, but perhaps a bit too light on the roast there). City+ level has even more violet blossoms, more honey sweetness, maple syrup on pancakes, and sweet spice notes of ginger, and herbs. Those floral jasmine tea notes and spice accent are so clear in the cup. Along with a bracing lemony acidity, they provide the high toned piquant character for this coffee, particularly in the lighter roast levels. The first time I cupped the arrival sample, my taste impression coalesced under one term; "Gingerbread." It perfectly described the spicy sweetness, underpinned by honey and caramelized sugar. While the cup has a distinct sweetness, it is restrained, not a full, round sweetness. In fact it seems moderated by bergamot citrus, as with the slightly bracing, tannin tea-like notes of Earl Grey. The body is fairly light and increases as the cup cools, with a waxy mouthfeel and a suggestion of walnut oil. It's a very aromatic, delicate and distinct cup. It's not a powerful or aggressive coffee.