Beans: Ethiopia Hambela, Heirloom, Natural process, Guji, Ethiopia.
Shop: The Cupping Room, Hong Kong, Asia.
The Cupping Room – Ethiopia Hambela: Background information.
One of the things that The Cupping Room stands for is a clean roasting profile with no defects. It is no surprise that you will find no quackers (a pale brown roasted bean because it was picked when unripe) in your package of this Ethiopia Hambela. This has everything to do with the close contact between the roaster and washing station owner Kedir Hassan. Kedir Hassan runs the Hambela washing station in Guji, and sees to it that his workers take care to only pick the ripes cherries available. Something that definitely comes back in your cup.
This Ethiopia Hambela was picked at an altitude between 1900m and 2300m at the small lot holders in the area. After being picked they underwent a natural process at the washing station.
The Cupping Room – Ethiopia Hambela: Opening the package.
The package of The Cupping Room has some very nice art of the coffee plant printed on it. Attached to the package is a small vibrantly coloured card that gives information about the tasting notes, the coffees origin and, on the back, a bit of background information. The package comes with a ziplock and degassing valve that keeps the coffee as fresh as possible. As I tear open the ziplock, I can immediately smell the fruity blackberry scent coming off of the beans. Like The Cupping Roon promised, the’re no quackers in the package and the roast is even and smooth. Eating a small bean already gives away a little of it’s secrets: Blackberry sweetness, black tea and a soft sourness make this very pleasant to chew on. This scent is enhanced when the grinder starts to do its magic.
The Cupping Room – Ethiopia Hambela: The tasting.
I have brewed the coffee on the Aeropress, Hario V60 and Siphon and on all three of these brewers, the coffee came out super nice. I decide to review this coffee on the Hario V60 recipe that is a 15/225gr recipe that uses cold blooming.
During the blooming, the soft scent of lavender immediately comes off of the grounded coffee. The soft and sweet scent makes me excited and when I pour hot water on the coffee to start the brewing the aromas fully develop to their potential. The lavender and sweet blackberry remind me of a drink called cassis; a carbonated super sweet blackberry drink. I finish the brewing and take my first sip; slurping oxygen through the brew while swirling it inside my mouth creates an intense sweetness. I notice blackberry jam, soft lavender and a punch of fruitiness in the back of my mouth. The tea-like aspect of this brew feels soft to my mouth and the light body creates a velvety mouthfeel. The acidity brightens on your tongue and feels a little winey in the end. As I swallow the coffee I feel it pulling my saliva over and over, creating an aftertaste that sweetens more and more. The result of all this is that the next sip comes across even sweeter than the previous one. The aftertaste lingers quite long as well, this is what a great Ethiopia is all about!
The Cupping Room – Ethiopia Hambela: The verdict.
Sometimes you get a coffee that is super easy to review, this is one of them. The Cupping Room has some great names attached to it like Kapo Chiu (Highly awarded Barista champion) and Michael Yung (int. judge SCA) and so the pressure is on to live up to the expectations. They do not seem to have a trouble living up to those expectations. This Ethiopia Hambela is nothing short of superb. The roasting is perfect, the flavours and aromas even more so. Blackberry jam, lavender and a punch of fruitiness that hits your palette like a charging bull is a real treat to the senses. At only 130,- Hong Kong dollars this is a bargain for all you Hong Kong coffee fans out there.
There is not much else to say except that this is one of the better Guji coffees I have tasted for quite a while now.