Ethiopia - AYEHU (Natural) - Filter
AYEHU is (other than it’s interesting name) an amazing coffee that is definitely out there on it’s own. It’s also the first ever K1 varietal we have ever found / sourced, which is a rare scenario in world of heirloom Ethiopian coffee.
AYEHU is very complex and quirky. It’s tropical, in that it shows off some pretty funky fruit notes like pineapple, papaya and mango. It’s also pretty unusual with a very sticky texture and mouthfeel. We found notes of Aperol (yes Aperol) in there and once it starts to cool it gives off lots of wine gum flavour.
For a natural it has a decent balance to it's profile. It's got a very present and acute, but pleasant acidity that adds t it's refreshing tropical feel.
AYEHU is a single estate 500 hectare farm situated at 1750 MASL, which is rare for Ethiopia (collectives are more common to make up the numbers). The farm is located in Amhara (Western Gojjam area) - Ethiopia’s rugged North-West. This area is not a profile coffee growing area such as big names like Yirgacheffe or Sidamo, which makes it all the more intriguing.
It's a natural process coffee, which in this case involved drying slowly in the sun on raised African beds for 18 days, turned periodically to ensure even drying and prevent over-fermentation or mould formation. The result is a rich and intense profile, but not one that is overpowering or boozy.
Until recently Ethiopian coffee is offered in what is described as 'Native Heirlooms', which is a reference for a potentially 10,000+ native varietals that Ethiopia has growing across it's coffee communities. K1 is actually a varietal normally found in Tanzania or Kenya. It was originally released in Kenya in 1936 after being picked out from the famous French Mission selective program at Scott Labs. The pro's are a varietal that is robust and shows good resistance to leaf rust, which are key considerations in coffee growing these days.