Beans: Mabo coffee Roasters, Mixed Heirloom, Washed, Bintu Ambela, Guji, Ethiopia.
Shop: Mabo Coffee roasters, webshop, Bucarest, Romania.
Mabo Coffee roasters – Ambela: Background information.
This Ambela comes from Mabo Coffee Roasters, a roaster owned by World Coffee roasting vice-champion Bogdan Georgescu. Bogdan works in the IT business and only started doing Specialty Coffee around 5 years ago. In these past five years, Bogdan managed to become the Romanian roasting champion of 2019 and get silver on the world roasting championships.
The coffee that Bogdan send me is the Ethiopia Ambela, named for the washing station in the Guji zone. Ambela washing station provides an income for 6000 coffee smallholders that live in the Binitu Ambela. In November, farmers start with harvesting the ripened cherries, and delivering them to Ambela washing station. There, batches of coffee are washed with river water and then the coffee is fermented 36-48 hours, complementing the acidity found in the cup. After that, washed coffee is dried on raised beds for 10 days, then laid on drying tables for 21 days. After the coffee season, the smallholders plant crops like maize and false banana’s to earn some income when coffee is off-season.
Mabo Coffee Roasters: Opening the package.
Bogdan has created a very nice package to put the coffee in. When I received the package my eyes were immediately drawn to the art that is used. It reminds me of the 1850’s french art, the time of Vincent van Gogh amongst others. It depicts a a group of people watching over the shoulder of someone drinking a cup of coffee. As if they all want to be part of that experience.
On the back of the package you will find all sorts of information about the coffee that’s inside: Region, Washing station, Variety, Fermentation, Altitude and cupping score. For the tasting notes, Bogdan refers to his website where a full listing can be found.
When opening the coffee you will notice how this coffee is evenly roasted and without defects. The beans are very crispy with a black tea like flavour to it. Far away in the background you can notice a hint of blackberry before it turns into a soft bitterness that is well known with Heirloom beans.
Smelling the coffee in the package gives off a fruity and floral note. After grinding the coffee gives off aroma’s of broth, cherry, red fruit and stone fruit.
Ambela: The tasting.
This particular coffee is roasted as an omniroast. This means it’s suitable for filter coffee as well as for espresso range. Since I’m currently waiting for my espresso grinder to arrive, I have tested this coffee as a filter coffee. Using my Eureka Brew Pro grinder, V60, Aeropress, Siphon and Gabi Master A, gave me a very good look into this coffee.
This coffee has two sides to it that make it an interesting option to try out. When you first start brewing this coffee and take in the aroma’s, you will find the most dominant aroma’s being tea and a short hot fudge kinda smell. When the brewing is done these aroma’s fade to the background and you will get a blackcurrant aroma from afar. If you dive in nose first the blackcurrant is replaced with a mix of raspberry and peach. In the background you will find a lavender aspect to all this as well.
If you take a sip of this coffee, the first thing you will notice is how the acidity of this coffee plays the main part. A sweet but high lemony acidity sets the stage in your mouth before the flavours appear.
A sweet raspberry and peach flavour is most prominent when the coffee is still hot but is soon accompanied by a soft blackcurrant flavour. As the coffee cools down, this blackcurrant flavour becomes stronger and and mixes nicely before taking over. Letting the coffee cool off just a little more, you will get a soft woody note on the coffee. You will find this in the back of your mouth, but only for a short time.
Remember when I was talking about two sides to this coffee? This is the point when it shows you that other part. When the coffee is hot, the mouthfeel is lemony and tea like. After the coffee cools down, a grapefruit mouthfeel appears together with soft tannins that you will find in your lower cheeks. Although this sounds like a harsh change, it is actually a gradual change over. In the aftertaste the fruity blackcurrant gets a bit gummy and so the coffee keeps the fruity character. When you breathe back via your closed mouth through your nose, a splendid oolong-tea aspect comes forth to top it off.
Mabo Coffee Roasters – Ambela: The verdict.
This Ethiopia Ambela is a coffee with two sides. On the one hand, it is a sweet fruity coffee with notes of raspberry, peach and mostly blackcurrant. The other part is a grapefruit aspect that turns this coffee around and make you think of a kenya coffee instead. It is this change that makes this coffee interesting and worthwhile exploring, especially when taking into account that the blackcurrant note keeps getting sweeter as the coffee cools down. Too bad I couldn’t brew it as an espresso! Way to go Bogdan, a nice coffee indeed!
As a courtesy to Bogdan and his roasting company, I placed a link to the web page of the coffee here. This is a non-paid link, so I do not get paid when you click on this link.