A very unique cup that has features of both a wet- and dry-process coffee, brighter than most naturals, but certainly has the fruited notes and body of that process method. Layers of peaches, mango and apricot, herbal notes (coriander, and lemongrass), and thick, opaque mouthfeel. City+ to Full City+
We had been using this beautiful coffee in a blend, and thought ... heck, why aren't we selling it a la carte? The issue is that we don't have a lot of information about it's origin. This is a very clean tasting pulp natural process Limu area coffee from the mysteriously-named Helen Gebrenigus exporter. Pulp natural lurks somewhere between the traditional methods of wet-process and dry-process coffees. With a pulp natural, the cherry comes in from the farms and is pulped (skin removed) immediately. Instead of fermenting off the sticky mucilage of the fruit, it is laid directly onto raised beds. It must be distributed in a thin layer and turned often, especially in the initial days of drying. This coffee was from a private farm and then traded through the ECX exchange, which is why we don't know it's exact source. I have a feeling the exporter knows, because she told us some details of processing this lot, that they shade-dry initially. But if she knows, she is not telling. In any case, we love the cup quality, and that is the most important factor.
The cup has the consistent and uniform nature of a wet-process coffee, and some of the interesting fruited notes of a dry-process. The dry fragrance has peach and meyer lemon fruit, which honey graham cracker in the lighter roast. The wet aroma is fantastic, with unique citrus and stone fruit notes, peach, apricot, and hints of mango. There is a more pungent scent in the Full City roast, and a bit of herbal lemon grass on the break. The cup has feature of both a wet- and dry-process coffee as well. It's a bit brighter than most naturals, but certainly has the fruited notes and body of that process method. Layers of fruit, already listed in the aroma, add complexity. Spice and herbal notes (coriander, and lemon grass again) are present, distinguishing this from a wet process coffee, as well as a fairly thick, opaque mouthfeel. The sweetness is like honey in the light roast, while there is a slightly drying chaff-like note in the finish. It seems to roast well at any level, shifting to a more bass-note cup at Full City+.