Review: Zwarte Roes – Musa Aba Lulesa

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Beans: Musa Aba Lulesa, Heirloom, Washed, Jimma, Goma, Ethiopia.
Shop: Zwarte Roes, webshop, Hoorn, The Netherlands.

Musa Aba Lulesa: Background information.

Zwarte Roes Musa Aba Lulesa

The story of Musa Aba Lulesa starts in western Ethiopia where his father was a coffee farmer. When Aba became of age, his father granted him 6 acres of land. After a growing coffee for a while, Aba managed to sell some coffee and save up money to travel to Uganda to participate in the African Fine Coffees Association. Aba now has 40 acres of land and stopped selling his coffee via the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX). Aba took matters in his own hands and sells his coffee himself ensuring a fair FOB (Free on Board) price for his coffee.

Musa’s farm is located at an altitude between 2000m and 2150m altitude. The Region has a Tropical Savanna Climate which means an average temperature of 18 degrees Celsius and dry winters and summers. The heirloom coffees of this review have undergone a washed treatment.

Zwarte Roes – Musa Aba Lulesa: Opening the package.

Musa Aba Lulesa Gabi Master A dripper

The Musa Aba Lulesa comes in a beige bag with a printed Zwarte Roes logo on the front. The package has a degassing valve and zip lock to ensure the freshness of the coffee. On the front you will also find some information about the coffee: the origin, the name, region, altitude and amount of grams. I would have liked to see the process and varietal on the package as well and perhaps some tasting notes.

When opening the package there is a soft sweet aroma with candy-like sweetness on the nose. The beans look evenly roasted and are crispy when you bite down on one. The black tea flavour appears immediately together with a hint of stonefruit as well. Im going to brew this coffee on the V60, Gabi Master A and Aeropress.

Musa Aba Lulesa: The tasting.

When brewing this coffee, there is a sweet vanilla and sugared tea aroma that’s clearly distinguishable. When the brewing is done and the coffee cools down, you will find an aroma of white blossom and sweet peach as well.

When I take a sip, I first notice the peach flavour that sits comfortably on my tongue. As I slurp oxygen inside my mouth and swirl the coffee round I get black tea and a beautiful Lychee aspect as well. I want to explain the Lychee a bit because it is not the Lychee sweetness that you will find, rather the sweet/bitter that you get when you eat the part of the Lychee that is closest to the pit/seed. this is a subtle bitterness that is exactly the same and you can detect it on the side of your tongue all the way in the back of your mouth.
As the coffee cools down you will find that the peach is getting slightly sweeter and a floral flavour appears which creates a fresh balance. On the Gabi Master A dripper, there was a faint honey flavour to be found as well. There are also some very faint tannins on my gums. These flavours also appear in the medium lasting aftertaste albeit less in strength.

At first I would not say that this coffee is complex, but I come back on my opinion when I’m talking about the acidity of this coffee. When the coffee is hot, there is a sweet malic acidity that reminds me of green apple. However, when this coffee cools down, the acidity changes into a citric orange acidity. Personally I love acidity in a coffee; it is part of the coffee and the experience when drinking coffee. So for me this is huge plus!

The Verdict.

Musa Aba Lulesa logo

It is great to see that a smallholder such as Musa is selling off his coffee with a good FOB price. Many smallholders still don’t receive the right price for their coffee nowadays. Zwarte Roes managed to roast a good coffee with the typical Ethiopian qualities that one would expect. Fruit, floral and tea are all in this washed Heirloom. The things that stand out most are the vanilla and sugared aroma while brewing and the complex acidity. Especially the acidity caught my attention since it’s so clearly detectable.
This is a coffee that is perfect for the upcoming spring weather and great to wake up with in the morning. The package size has a minimum of 350 grams so it will leave you with plenty of brews!

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