The Guji region of Sidamo, along the Mora Mora River in southern Ethiopia, produces “forest coffee”, or coffee trees that grow wild. The region also has numerous small coffee farms that pool their coffee in a co-op for milling and export. Guji coffee is heirloom. What that means to us is that it is not a modern cultivar, but a traditional coffee that is unchanged from the very earliest coffees grown in this area. That alone would make us pretty excited about trying it. But there's more…
Our Sidamo Guji offering is dry processed. In the past, we offered a wet processed version of this coffee, but we (in this case WE means Denny) have really begun to appreciate the complexity that properly executed dry processing can impart to a coffee. With wet processing, the coffee cherry is soaked in a vat of water to loosen the sticky fruit that surrounds the seed. It tends to roast more evenly and be brighter, crisper and a bit smoother in the cup than a dry processed coffee. With dry processing, the entire coffee cherry is allowed to sun-dry on raised tables. It is raked every two hours to continually stir it up, preventing mold and insuring a more even drying. The dried up fruit is then mechanically removed from the seed. This is risky business for the mill. Mess it up and you get a moldy, harsh, medicine tasting coffee. Do it right, though, and you are rewarded with a twisty, complex, heady, intense coffee.
Guji abounds with floral, spice, wine and chocolate tones. This coffee is a bit more muscular than coffee from Harrar or Yirgacheffee, resulting in a heavier body or richer mouth-feel. The intense fragrance is just something you have to experience for your self. Better brew enough for the whole household—that room filling fragrance will be a coffee magnet to every coffee drinker in the house! It is intense, floral and spicy with complexity that adds layers of taste as you drink.
Arrival Date: May 20, 2013
Attributes: Perfumed fragrance, complex flavor layers.
Bean Size: Average to slightly small
Chaff Content: Average
Dominant Cup Characteristic: Complex multi-layered flavors. Bitter-sweet chocolate and dry red wine tones.
Environmental Factors: Although not certified organic, little or no chemicals were used in producing this coffee.
Flavor Traits: Bakers’ chocolate, wine, cloves, cinnamon, and some floral tones.
Growing Conditions: Forest grown, hand picked sun dried
Hardness of the Bean: Hard and dense
Processing: Natural (dry)
Roasting: We carried this coffee a bit darker than most East African coffees. We think just into the second crack—a Full City + makes a really interesting cup. Expect it to roast unevenly—but don't cull those odd beans! They add a great deal to that complexity we mentioned.
Recommendation: This is one of those coffees that will really appeal to the coffee “snob”. It is not your usual sweet, clean cupping brew, but instead is a wild, rustic, intense cup. That's not to say it's hard to learn to like—it isn't! But that complex intensity may catch you a little off guard at first.
Reminder: This is raw coffee. You have to roast it before brewing.
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