Beans: Shiferaw Alako, Heirloom, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia.
Shop: Gardelli, webshop, Forli, Italy.
Gardelli – Shiferaw Alako: Background information.
This lot is produced by a single farmer named Shiferaw Alako from Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia. Shiferaw Alako brought the coffee cherries to the nearest Ato. Mijane washing station. The Ato. Mijane washing station was established in 2012 by Ato, or Mr, Mijane. It is located around Sakaro, a village in the Gedeb District, near Worka. Gedeb is one of the many districts that produce Yirgacheffe coffee; known for its purple-fruit and intense floral notes. The difference in the Gedeb region compared to other Yirgacheffe districts, is the state of plantations. The soil seems more nutritious and trees look more vital than they do in the northern part of Yirgacheffe.
During the first ever Red Cherrie auction, organized by Trabocca, Gardelli bought this Shiferaw Alako Lot 5. The coffee is an Heirloom variety and is grown at an altitude between 1900 and 2000 meters above sea level. It has been treated with a washed process and was picked in december 2017.
Gardelli – Shiferaw Alako: Opening the package.
The Gardelli package has that famous pink colour that everybody seems to recognize from afar. The bag has a ziplock that closes off the package really well. On the front and the back of the package is a lot of information. The front will tell you about the quality score, the origin and the name. The back of the package tells you about the terroir, variety, fermentation, altitude, producer, tasting notes and even when the cherries were picked.
When opening the package the scent of earl grey tea and fruits can easily be picked out. The roast looks even and there are no defects at all inside. Biting down on one of the crispy beans gives off a soft sourness and a salty feeling in the back of your mouth. Let grind!
Gardelli – Shiferaw Alako: The tasting.
I reviewed this coffee on the Hario V60, Aeropress and Siphon brewer. All three gave off different results. My favourite brewer on this coffee is the Hario V60 for its balanced notes.
When brewing the scent coming off of the brew is that of Jasmine and sugared earl grey tea. This is accompanied by a faint peach scent that appears after brewing. When the coffee cools off even more you can detect a hint of mango instead.
I take a sip and swirl the coffee round in my mouth before slurping oxygen inside. The first thing that comes to mind is that this coffee has a citric in acidity and has distinct notes of lemongrass, lime and bergamot. This is contrary to what I am getting on the nose. The aftertaste makes me think of caramel sweetness and jasmine. As the coffee cools off I swirl it in my cup and aside from the earl grey tea, there is a chewing gum peach smell that comes up shortly! The mouthfeel feels buttery and I detect soft tannins on my gums as well.
I take another sip and the coffee has changed considerably on the notes. While the bergamot remains in tact, the fruits seem to take over the coffee now. There is a sweet peach note and a mango note as well. The mango note makes me think of the flavour that you get when the mango is not overripe yet. The fun thing about the coffee is that when the coffee cools off a bit more, the citric notes make a come-back again and complement the fruity notes as a whole.
Gardelli – Shiferaw Alako: The verdict.
What is it with Gardelli and layered coffees? In my last review, the Gardelli Carmen Estate Panama Geisha, I talked about how that coffee feels like a puzzle that you complete while drinking. The Shiferaw Alako feels the same in that aspect. The citric notes and the fruity notes are separated at first by the temperature differences. Waiting a while until the coffee cools down to the mid-temperature will bring those notes together. The Bergamot is there throughout the experience but the jasmine, peach, lemon, mango and lemongrass each play their own part. The acidity is citric and go’s perfectly with the buttery mouthfeel. Once again I am sorry to see the bottom of a Gardelli and realising I used up all the coffee. If you haven’t tasted this coffee I have one advice: “Run, you fools…” (insert Gandalf’s voice)