During a recent visit to family in Holland, Michigan, I sneaked away for a little bit to grab a cuppa at my favorite coffee haunt in town, The 205 Coffee Bar. I love 205 so much because it has a very chill vibe and serves the best coffee in town (though the recently opened Ferris Coffee and mainstay Ferris Coffee are also head and shoulders above the average cup of coffee you can get most anywhere in the country); the fact that the coffee they serve is Stovetop Coffee Roasters (which rapidly became one of my favorite roasters over the past couple years) works in their favor, too.
On this particular visit, however, a Stovetop coffee wasn’t featured on their pour over menu (though I did purchase a bag to bring home with me); rather, it was an offering from a roaster I’ve never tried before (indeed, hadn’t even heard of before). The staff were all very excited about it and highly recommended I try it. So that’s the coffee we have here before us.
Welcome to the table. Today we’re cupping the Ethiopia Yukro, from Go Get Em Tiger in Los Angeles, California. Feel free to pull up a chair.
Yukro comes to us from the Agaro region in Western Ethiopia, and is harvested by smallholder farmers in the Yukro Multipurpose Cooperative. Yukro Cooperative was originally formed in 1977, in the village of Wanja Qarsa, in the Gera District of Jimma. Today, Yukro Cooperative operates under the leadership of the Kata Muduga Multi-Purpose Farmer’s Cooperative Union, which is an umbrella for some of Western Ethiopia’s best performing co-operatives in terms quality coffee (such as Biftu Gudina and Duromina). They also operate thanks to investment from USAID’s Technoserve project.
This coffee is produced in a semi-forest farming system on smallholder farms ranging between 1 and 20 hectares. The plants do well in their naturally cultivated conditions, surrounded by evergreen jungle forests. The cherries are immediately processed after collection; using the eco-friendly Penagos 1500.
After Penagos processing equipment mechanically removes most of the fruit and mucilage from the seeds, they soak overnight in fiberglass tanks, allowing any remaining sugars to be fully removed from their surface so that the coffees are clean by the time they hit the drying beds for the eight-plus days they’ll need to dry. The mucilage is mechanically removed after it is fermented for 12 hours. Early in the morning, the coffee is placed upon drying shaded beds for 3-4 hours to initiate the drying process. Finally, It is dried for 6-7 days on elevated African drying beds, on which it is both moved regularly and sorted.*
region: Agaro, Jimma, Ethiopia
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Yukro Multipurpose Cooperative
elevation: 2000 meters above sea level
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The aroma of the Ethiopia Yukro is sweet and mild; fruit-forward with scents of melon and berries, with a bouquet of florals.
The flavor follows the nose – it’s unmistakably an Ethiopian coffee; similar to a Yirg in many ways. It’s on the lighter side of a medium-bodied coffee with a soft, silky mouthfeel and mild citric acidity. Again, this is a fruit-forward coffee with cantaloupe being the most prominent flavor up front, along with lemon and guava. Mixed in each sip is the sweetness of strawberry milk and honey, which lazily glide along the sides of the tongue. As the coffee cools, however, it goes in a distinctly different direction with jasmine tea nuances and lemon peel tartness, which play through a semi-dry finish.
This was one of the most complex Ethiopian coffees I’ve had in a considerable time, and a really unique introduction to Go Get Em Tiger. And with the rave reviews the staff of 205 Coffee Bar gave them, I’ll definitely be following up with them to check out more of their offerings in the near future.
*content courtesy of GGET and Trabocca
What were your thoughts of this one? Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome! Feel free to enter a comment below.