Kela Kochore shows a delicate, shimmering profile with a saturated red honey sweetness. Acidity is bright, and accentuated by flavors of pomelo, sweet lime, and mandarin orange. Overt florals add to this dynamic cup. City to Full City.
We have looked at a lot of wet-process coffees from the Southern zones of Sidama and Yirga Cheffe areas this year, and there is a wide variety in qualities in this crop year. Generally, Sidama had issues in the Northern parts with a lower crop and some of the higher altitudes experiencing frost damage. But as I headed south it seemed the crop was large and came in very quickly. It's great for farmers but makes it very hard to manage the quality at the washing stations. Well-run stations could handle it, but others were stacking wet coffee on top of dry batches, layering too much on the raised beds, and not effectively hand-picking. I have seen it in the arrival samples, with some favorites from last year falling short. But this, our fourth landed washed coffee from Yirga Cheffe area is proving there are clear winners in 2015. It hails from the Alemu station in Kochore, a place I have been to several times: Even in brief visits I could observe a well-managed effort directed at the coffee and an incredible number of drying beds to ensure there was no shortage of space. But more importantly with this arrival, the cup ...I was simply amazed by the clarity of flavors, brightness, and refined finish.
The aromatics of this Yirga Cheffe have a potency to them, with sweet notes of refined honey out front. Strong florals of star jasmine interplay nicely with notes of stone fruit; apricot and peach. Aspects of sugar browning are expounded on when adding hot water and the crust has a strong smell of toffee, caramel, and tropical fruit. This coffee has a delicate cup profile that shines on the lighter end of the roast spectrum. Sweetness saturates the palate in the lighter roasts, a dark red honey taste that reverberates into the finish. The acidity is lively and well defined, lending . Citrus pervades the cup profile but without any of the harsh or rindy souring aspects that can come along with it. It's hard to place exactly, like a pomelo citrus quality, also sweet lime and mandarin. My darker roasts (FC) have an emerging bittersweet cocoa that, instead of distracting, seems to add a bracing and balancing quality to the sweet and bright nature of this coffee. But still the lightest level of City roast, ending just when First Crack completes, is where the bright and dynamic flavor of the Kela Kochore really soars in the brewed cup.