One of my
few readers dear friends (hi Rob!) was recently in Africa on business, and very thoughtfully brought me a bag of coffee from the ancestral home of coffee, Ethiopia. Caffe TO.MO.CA to be specific.
He gave me fair warning, which I came to appreciate, that while this was a very good grade of coffee, it would be a lot different from the Ethiopian coffee we know from export. Much, much more of a strong, earthy taste.
I brewed some up this morning, and it was as advertised. The odor from opening the bag was not at all what we’ve come to expect as a coffee smell, much more pungent, and earthy is very much the apt description. Perhaps, dare I say, barnyardy.
The odor as it came out of the grinder was just short of burnt, so I’m guessing they went past Starbucks-level roasting and just roasted the absolute hell out of this stuff. Not a good sign for my palate.
As for the finished product, I took a sip of it plain, and ooooooo wheeeee, that is some strong flavor. Not particularly to my liking. Tamed it a bit with some milk, which made it more palatable.
So glad I tried it, but not for me. Would recommend to those who like a really strong, very dark roast and want to try something a little different. Thanks again to my buddy Rob for thinking of me.
One final note, when I went to empty the portafilter the grounds were very wet and soupy, and didn’t come out into the knockbox in a solid puck as is usually the case.
I wanted to see if I could figure out the reason for this, whether it might be from the coffee or the machine, and of course the fine people at Seattle Coffee Gear have a video where my coffee heroine Gail (I LOVE her videos, shadowing her as she does her thing around the coffee lab would be awesome) explains why this can happen.
Oh my, that Rocket Espresso machine, swooooooooonnnnnn………
I’m guessing it was the beans being a bit oily, because my machine does have a solenoid and I’m seeing occasionally wet grounds when drawing shots but never to this extent.
3 thoughts on “straight out of Addis”
Oily beans must be a part of it. After a pound of genuine Ethiopian Buna, my burr grinder needs to be cleaned with a toothpick.
Glad I could exercise your animal tastes.
Rob, it may also be that these beans with a much stronger roast are much better suited to traditional Ethiopian coffee making with a Jebena than to an espresso machine.
I got mine the same way from a friend. First cup, same response as you. Second, hmm? Third: incredible! It takes a bit more sugar, but I am a convert. I’m afraid if I can’t find it to buy I’m never going to be able to go back.