The Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) is a commodities exchange that was started in April 2008. Although the ECX was created in good intentions, “to ensure the development of an efficient modern trading system” that would, “protect the rights and benefits of sellers, buyers, intermediaries, and the general public” this is not what we have seen.
Like any new system, the ECX needs to get some kinks worked out of it, namely in the areas of traceability and accountability.
Since this was an ECX auction lot, we do not have any exact information about this coffee except that it is delicious, it is washed process, and was produced somewhere in Yirgacheffe.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe ECX Auction Lot, from Temple Coffee in Sacramento, California, courtesy of Craft Coffee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Ethiopia Commodity Exchange
elevation: 1800 – 2200 meters above sea level
cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The aroma coming off this coffee is light and delicate, but it has a bit of a punch to it. Just the faintest hints of spice and roast and wisps of flowers and tropical fruits.
Taking my first few sips of the coffee, my palate is greeted by soft flavors of salted caramel and honey, and flutters of lilac, violet, and white tea leaves come fluttering in over the top.
As it cools off, the cup becomes much brighter, livelier, and a bit more aggressive, with tart and silky notes of pineapple, guava, and grapefruit. However, there are also some unique spice and savory notes as the cup settles into an herbaceous middle—ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and cedar—before collapsing into a more straightforward, bittersweet fudge and praline finish.
Light body; silky mouthfeel; pineapple acidity; clean finish.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
A couple weeks ago I was chatting with Peter Giuliano about the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange and he mentioned that, when the ECX was first established specialty coffee were fearful that Ethiopian coffee quality would greatly diminish. To their surprise, though, Ethiopian coffees are better than they’ve ever been. Of course, the ECX could improve greatly in some areas (namely, traceability), but the coffees are doing just fine.
The Ethiopia Yirgacheffe ECX Auction Lot, from Temple Coffee, is a prime example of just how incredible and diverse Ethiopian coffees remain despite the ECX takeover.
This coffee was fine, delicate, and simply gorgeous. However, it is also an assertive coffee that really impresses itself upon the palate.
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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.