My Java Journal

The Ethiopian Experiment – Going Green

Very exciting! I just received an order of green beans for roasting!.This then is an opportune time to follow up on last week’s post immediately.

I ordered five different one-pound bags of green bean Ethiopian coffees to start experimenting with. As Ethiopia is the defacto birthplace of coffee, and with a plan to start this exploration regionally, the intent here is really to just get started roasting. This first deliberate roasting session will include five different beans from Ethiopia. For consistency and comparison I needed to find a methodology to start with to track my roasts. As always, this is designed to be a learning platform to further immerse into the craft of coffee.

My approach will be to separate each one-pound bag of beans into two separate roasts. For each half-pound I will roast the first lightly, and the second dark. There are formal categories and styles with which to attempt, but I will not focus on achieving a certain category just yet. Rather, I will go by ‘feel’ and keep records of the process and see where they best fit afterwards. Then I will research to see how my process and roasting efforts align with the defined categories, and then I will adapt my attempts on future roasts to try to achieve better categorical results. So, these roasts and the recorded details about them will set a baseline for future roasting experiments.

I won’t pretend to be an expert on coffee so I will default to the bean descriptors provided by the supplier I am using – Green Beanery.

The first half-pound is the Ethiopian Lekempti, which is also one of the coffee-growing regions of Ethiopia. It is known for its natural, dry-processed coffees, typically dense with underlays of fruit and chocolate.

Our Ethiopian Lekempti is a full-bodied offering with a slight tobacco taste and a wild berry lift. If blending, the Lekempti provides the body and should be mixed with beans that can bring the sweetness. As a standalone, the cup offers a rustic enjoyment, somewhat intense with a strong flavour character typical of natural Ethiopians. French press is the best option for the Lekempti. Filtered also works. Not typically an espresso pick.

The roasting recommendation is City+ to Full City to Vienna – so dark – and this a an Arabica species of bean.

This roast went fast. Maybe it was because of the small amount of beans used, or that the heat was set too high. This latter is entirely feasible as this is the first roast since the colder months – so I had the element on high – and as the atmospheric temperature was ten degrees Celsius, much warmer then previous roasts, this was likely hotter than anticipated. It only took five minutes before these beans reached First Crack and started getting very dark. So, I’ll let them settle now and then grind and consume this week.

The recommended style of coffee for this bean is French Press, vice Espresso, so I will be bringing out my old travel friend from ‘The Afghanistan Ritual‘ post and will see how the flavours (and my roasting skills) match the description.