I was recently scrolling through Instagram when I came across an intriguing post by a friend of mine. It was a picture of a coffee bag with the name Windmill Coffee Roasters emblazoned across it, and its caption read, “This is the best coffee I’ve had this year.” Knowing his reputation for only drinking great coffees, I immediately put in an order. Unfortunately, the coffee which he had and which he described as the best he’s tasted all year, was sold out; so I opted for another roast which sounded pretty darn tasty.
Welcome to the table. Today we’re cupping the Ethiopia Guji Oromia Kayon Mountain, from Windmill Coffee Roasters in Ames, Iowa. Feel free to pull up a chair.
This is a grade 1, organic certified Arabica coffee from The Kayon Mountain Coffee Farm in the Guji zone of Ethiopia’s Oromia Region. Established in 2012, the farm started with the aim of producing high quality coffee in a socially and environmentally responsible manner; it is privately owned by Ato Esmael and his family.
The farm is a 240 hectare plot in fertile sandy clay loam soil beneath a canopy of natural forest. The farm is organic certified, and uses animal dung as its main source of fertilizer. Coffee is harvested from October to February by people from local villages.
Some of it is washed, fermented and dried on raised beds and the rest is left for the production of high quality natural processed coffee. Freshly picked coffee cherry is washed with the low density beans being channeled away for a lower grade. The clean high grade coffees are then placed onto raised beds where for around 12 to 20 days’ drying time it is meticulously hand-turned and picked over to remove any defect beans. Finally, the dried cherries are milled to reveal the beautiful natural processed coffee beans which undergo further sorting to remove any remaining defect beans.
region: Guji, Oromia, Ethiopia
farm: Kayon Mountain
producer: smallholder farmers
elevation: 2100 meters above sea level
varietal: Heirloom 74110 and 74112
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The aroma of the Ethiopia Guji Oromia Kayon Mountain is soft and fragrant; delicate, even, with nuances of black tea, stone fruit, and lime.
This is a light-bodied coffee, with a silky mouthfeel and a mouthwatering citric acidity. This coffee has a bit of an unusual profile for an Ethiopian coffee in that, while it is floral-forward, it’s quite herbal, too. Dry Darjeeling tea is the predominant tasting note – the coffee even has an astringency not unlike an Earl Grey – with sweet, juicy peach and soft vanilla cream flowing in behind. But there’s a unique allspice note in there that I’ve never really tasted in an Ethiopian coffee like this one before.
Now, I need to mention that this review should be read with a giant asterisk because by the time I received this coffee, it was three weeks past its roast date; which I’m sure affected the coffee’s flavor profile. So, as tasty as the coffee was, I didn’t get a clear picture of it at its freshest. I wrote to Windmill to express my dissatisfaction and they’ve agreed to send me the natural process version of this coffee as a replacement, and I will post my review of that one in the near future.
What were your thoughts of this one? Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome! Feel free to enter a comment below.
UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, ALL PRODUCTS REVIEWED ARE UNSOLICITED SUBMISSIONS FROM THE PRODUCT MANUFACTURER.
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.