Asnakech is one of the most revolutionary figures in Ethiopian coffee today. And not just because she's the only woman mill owner and exporter. Native to the Amaro Mountain region, Asnakech returned in 2005 with ambitions to improve both the quality of Ethiopian coffee and the lives of those who grow it.
Ethiopia--birthplace of coffee--has what many consider the best coffee in the world, but it has not always been consistent as much of it is grown on small plots by family farmers. Asnakesh has taken on this task in a few ways:
Asnakech only purchases coffee cherries at the height of their maturity. The coffee is scrupulously harvested, sorted and milled at her facilities, giving her total control over quality. She processes the coffee using both the "natural" (or "dry") method where the beans are dried inside the fruit. She also incorporates part of the wet method where the pulp is then removed and washed.
She uses raised beds to dry the coffee cherries which provide even aeration and a much cleaner coffee. After drying the cherries are sent to Amaro Gayo's "eco-friendly" pulping machine which uses far less water than most mills. As a final quality control steps, the coffee is hand sorted to remove any sub-standard beans.
The final product of all this attention to detail is a coffee with a lush blackberry and blueberry flavor, complex acidity, juicy red-wine body, and a bittersweet chocolate in the finish. It is quite different from its full-washed counterpart, Yirgacheffe, which is mu higher-toned and aromatic with pronounced floral and citrus notes.
Time to taste it
At Six Depot, we import and roast both Ethiopia Amaro Gayo and Yirgacheffe and marvel at their complexities and differences. We hope you try them both and let us know what you think. If you stop by the cafe, we can always do a pourover of each.
P.S. It's our dream to go to Ethiopia this winter to meet Asnakesh, work at her mill and explore al the amazing coffee and food in this beautiful country. Will keep you posted!
Elena powell says…
Having lived for 2 years in Ethiopia now Eritrea I am a huge fan of her people’s, culture and especially coffee culture. I will bring my Ethiopian coffee pot to you next week. Will have lots to share.
on September 21, 2013
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