More than 1.1 million small hold farmers make up 95% of the coffee production in Ethiopia. It is estimated that 15 million Ethiopians rely on some aspect of coffee production for their livelihood. Coffee in Ethiopia is a big deal!
The coffee contributed to the Bokasso co-operative is from Dalle, Sidama. Bokasso is part of a lot separation traceability initiative. This is great for us because we can track flavours we like from the cup all the way back to a single day of processing. Transparency like this was unheard of five years ago and can still be a realchallenge in all producing countries, including Ethiopia
Once wet milled, coffee from cooperatives like Bokasso go to a regions union, in this case the Sidamo Union who dry mill, grade,sell and export to the world.
It is difficult for us to know the variety of this coffee and most coffee from Ethiopia. A lot of it is unidentified and has been sourced from the wild, as opposed to typical agricultural cultivation.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Ethiopia Sidamo Bokasso, from Compelling Coffee in Los Angeles, California. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Dalle, Sidamo, Ethiopia
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Bokasso Cooperative
elevation: 2000 meters above sea level
cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The aroma of the Ethiopia Sidamo Bokasso is exemplary of the prototypical Ethiopian coffee nowadays – bright, floral, fruity (cherries, berries, and citrus), cocoa.
Taking my first few sips of the cup, my palate is greeted by a rich, dense, full-bodied coffee. It’s heavy on the palate, but pleasant on the taste buds despite some initial notes of roast; there is, however, an almond nuttiness up front that, when coupled with the brown sugar I’m also picking up, makes for a tasty roasted almond note. I’m also getting delicious tastes of honey, violet petal, and a light cocoa powder.
As it cools off, the cup gets markedly brighter and tart; mouth-puckeringly tart with a sharp, sour cherry lemonade and ruby red grapefruit acidity and flavors of raspberry and blueberry that lift in the tail end to reveal a finish saturated with bittersweet notes of star anise, cherry cola, amaretto, black licorice, raw honey, and ginger.
Full body; syrupy mouthfeel; honey acidity; clean finish.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
The Ethiopia Sidamo Bokasso, from Compelling Coffee, is a really solid, very good coffee. It’s every bit what the name of its roaster suggested it would be – it is both rich (in terms of its dense, savory profile and flavor) and compelling (in terms of dynamics and delicacy). While I wouldn’t say that it’s the most unique or complex Ethiopian coffee I’ve ever had, it does have some moments that made me pause to savor what I had just tasted.
This coffee has tremendous clarity, startling complexity, and dynamic flavors that will knock your socks off. It’s just gosh darn good.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.