Recently, we have had a selection of coffees that have been either natural or honey processes. As we started to search for our next single origin, we found we were thirsty for a washed coffee. At the cupping table, we focused on how we can get back to the challenge of roasting a coffee to bring the flavours that truly represent the varietal and origin. Don’t get me wrong, natural coffees, and all the delights of those fruity and fermented flavours, are a joy to work with. However, there is a tangible allure to presenting the subtle characteristics of a good washed coffee.
In many ways, washed coffee held a sizeable share of the market until the early 21st Century. They are often considered to be most representative of a region’s terroir. While naturals offer us the chance to play with impactful flavours, washed coffee can offer the chance to consider our methods, and to challenge our brewing skills.
Furthermore, it has been a while since we released a coffee from Ethiopia. So, what better opportunity for us to explore this origin and process with you!
On the cupping table, we were immediately drawn to the tea-like delicacy of the Uraga washed. Its flavour profile kept bringing us back for more. On the nose, it is biscuity, caramelised and a little spicy – think Ginger Nuts if you are in the UK. In the cup, it has a gentle acidity and a gooseberry sweetness. The tea like qualities come out in the finish, subtle and comforting. For me, this is somewhere between Assam and Oolong – familiar yet invigorating.