Coffee

Single Origin Espresso Organic Ethiopian Natural Sidamo

We’re back with another iteration of Single Origin Espresso!

Single Origin Espresso, the process

Our GS/3 was positively shaking with anticipation while we filled up the hopper and started to prepare for another foray into the world of extraction. As those of you who get overly wrapped up in the geekery of espresso may know, espresso extraction is a constant battle of balance and taste. So when you’re pulling shots, the amount of considerations can be a bit staggering. Even without considering the coffee itself, do you want a deep, syrupy shot with a heavy mouthfeel, or are you more interested in representing as much complexity and sweetness as possible? That’s a difficult question to answer, and it’s only one of the many you are faced with. And in this situation, as with many others, you cannot have both.  However, you may be able to find a balance that represents enough of each to bring you the desired cup characteristics.

The coffee we used for this was a naturally-processed Ethiopian coffee from the Sidamo region.  It’s probably no surprise that we were looking for a coffee with a fruity profile that would translate well when prepared as espresso. This Sidamo had a little bit of a heavier, earthy backbone compared to other Ethiopians.  This also tends to make the espresso process more universally palatable, in our opinion. This also is often the case with coffee that we source from Harrar.

Our quality assurance guru, Chaminda, roasted this gem to a full-medium (no oils) and then we gave it 4 full days of rest before we started working with it. Then it went like this:

  • The grouphead temp ~200F
  • 18.5g dose; 38.7g out
  • I gave it a level and a tamp, and I locked it into the grouphead
  • First drips ~5-6 seconds, and then picked up speed throughout the shot

Organic Ethiopian Natural Sidamo, in the cup

The resulting espresso was definitely vibrant: notes of lemon-lime right at the forefront. As we got past the slight bitterness of the crema, it gave way to sweet honey and molasses.  Then it developed into deeper notes of chocolate, cola, cherry, and orange as it cooled. This coffee did very well on the cupping table, but we think it really shined as espresso.  It was able to harness the earthier tones in a way that enhanced the total experience.

If you’re looking to change things up and offer a single origin espresso worth a double take and a second shot, look no further.