Maduro? This is a dry-process coffee where extra care has been directed toward harvesting only crimson-purple coffee cherries, a deeper red than the picking point for most coffee fruit. Expect ripe fruits, a "hushed" acidity (deep-toned acidity as a direct result of mature coffee cherry), winey character, heavy body, flame grape, plum (with a little plum skins), melon-like ripeness, and Syrah notes; this is a dessert coffee for sure. A slow development to City+ yields the ripe fruit notes, whereas heading toward Full City results in a spice and chocolate emphasis.
This is a coffee from a remote area of the Sidamo district, quite far from where most Sidamo coffees originate. In fact, it is mostly known for the large gold mine in the area, and sadly the local tensions between farmers and mine workers becomes open conflict. The area of Shakiso is on the Guji zone, and when I was in Ethiopia in December, the local conflict made travel there unsafe. Nonetheless, we met the farmer who produces this coffee, Haile Gebre, in Yirg Alem, and we were able get a sample to cup some of this new crop Maduro lot, in anticipation of the following harvest. Maduro? This is a dry-process coffee where extra care has been directed toward harvesting only crimson-purple coffee cherries, a deeper red than the picking point for most coffee fruit. Maduro means mature in Spanish, and I am not sure how that name was adopted for and Ethiopia coffee, but that is the one Se±or Gebre chose. Everything about the sensoral analysis of this coffee becomes an object lesson about the effect of coffee cherry ripeness. The dry fragrance offers an explosive, room-filling scent of plum, melon and spice. The wet aromatic has hibiscus-rose potpourri, spiced apple cider, cinnamon bark, clove, and Muscavado sugar. There is a whiff of raw cocoa nibs on the break. There is a range of cup flavors depending on roast level, but all follow the same general path, a route described by ripe fruits, a "hushed" acidity (deep-toned acidity as a direct result of mature coffee cherry), winey character, heavy body. City+ to Full City was where the flavors converged. At this roast, the cup is so remarkably sweet, it might even become cloying for some; it is a dessert coffee for sure. Flame grape, plum (with a little plum skins), melon-like ripeness, Syrah; these are some good descriptors for initial cup flavors ... but the list could be much more extensive. Spiced chocolate comes in the finish, like Ibarra Mexican hot chocolate, with clove, nutmeg and cinnamon stick accents, raw sugar panela, butterscotch rum candy. The body seems juicy and fatty as well, coating the mouth and leading to a long aftertaste. If we call your standard dry-process coffees "natural", this might be referred to as "neo-natural". It's a 90+ coffee easily for anyone who loves this flavor profile, but perhaps taboo to those who are strict washed coffee enthusiasts. There are quakers in this coffee that should be culled out after roasting.