For this fortnight's exclusive Fresh Crop content, Zach shares his recipes for brewing with our latest coffee, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Chelchele.
Bold and beautiful. For some these words conjur images of steely hair-sprayed matriarchs, scandalous romantic intrigues and cheesy soap opera dialogue, all playing out on grandma’s TV set... here at Padre Coffee though, these words bring to mind something more universally palatable and certainly more beautiful.
The Ethiopia Chelchele is a delicious natural processed coffee which comes to us from the Kochere district of Yirgacheffe. Growing at an altitude of approximately 1800-1900 meters above sea level, the coffees grown here are distinctively sweet and are often tea-like with soft floral notes and bright citrus acidity.
(Above) Raised drying beds in Chelchele, Yirgacheffe.
Yirgacheffe, located in the Gedeo Zone, is a region renowned for producing some of the most sought-after and complex coffees. Considering Ethiopia is widely regarded as the spiritual (if not literal) birthplace of coffee, it goes without saying that it’s pretty fantastic stuff.
The washing station where this coffee is processed is located in the village, or kebele, of Chelchele. As is common practice in many growing regions within the country, smallholder farmers handpick their coffee and deliver the cherries to the nearby washing station throughout the harvest season. As such, these coffees tend to be traced to specific washing stations or districts rather than a particular farm or lot.
In 2017 the prime minister of Ethiopia made reforms to the ECX (Ethiopian Commodity Exchange), allowing co-operatively owned washing stations to export their coffee directly, increasing traceability, encouraging greater recognition of quality and securing higher prices for farmers.
As Africa’s top producer, and with coffee accounting for up to 60% of foreign income and almost 15 million livelihoods in Ethiopia, there are obvious benefits to streamlining such an integral industry.
Already beloved by many, this is an exciting development for Ethiopian coffees and is only going to increase interest in these spectacular origins.
I myself have long been a die-hard fan of natural processed Ethiopian coffees.
Yirgacheffe naturals are particularly prized for their bold fruitiness, insane sweetness and sparkling acidity. What can I say, these are all qualities I relate to and admire.
The Ethiopia Chelchele exemplifies the very best of its kind. It has a robust mouthfeel and creamy body, sweet notes of juicy berries, tangy peach and rich milk chocolate, with a delicate tea-like finish that had me draining my cup in no time.
Spare a thought for Charlie, who patiently photographed me while I brewed and sampled this mouthwatering coffee without even a thought of sharing. Sorry not sorry mate!
This is an irresistible offering, one that is both punchy and elegant. Like Bea Arthur... Less bitter perhaps, but with just as much character and depth. Perfect for plunger and pourover brewing methods, this one is sure to be a fan favourite in no time!
Place two filter paper discs in the aeropress filter cap. This will ensure a cleaner final brew. Lock the filter cap into the brewing chamber, place over a carafe or mug and saturate the filter papers and Aeropress brewing chamber with almost boiling water.
This not only rinses the papers and dampens them for even extraction, but it also preheats the chamber and the brewing carafe or mug, ensuring an enduringly warm brew.
Make sure to discard rinsed water into the sink. Place the now prepared aeropress and brewing vessel on a set of brewing scales and add 16g of fresh ground coffee to the aeropress, gently tapping the side of the brewing chamber to evenly distribute the grinds for optimal extraction. Once level, tare brewing scale to zero, and start the timer.
0:00 - 0:30
Pour 30g of water over the grounds to ‘bloom’ the coffee. Use a stirrer to agitate the grounds and ensure all the coffee is saturated. Allow to bloom for a total of 30 seconds.
0:30 - 1:00
Slowly fill brewing chamber to 220g, pouring water in gentle circular motions to encourage full contact with the grounds and a more thorough extraction. Use a stirrer to agitate the brew, stirring a few times once you’ve finished pouring up to the full amount.
Place the rubber base of the plunger into the top of the brewing chamber, angling it slightly and then pulling up to create a gentle pressure seal.
1:00 - 1:30
Allow the brew to percolate for 30 seconds. This will increase the flavour extracted from the coffee.
1:30 - 2:00
Slowly but firmly push down on the plunger, maintaining pressure until the brew is fully extracted. There should be a soft hissing sound as the last of the brew is pushed through the extracted grounds.
Discard filter papers and extracted grounds from the brewing chamber. Rinse aeropress with hot water, ready for the next brew.
Most importantly, stop and take some time to enjoy your delicious cup of Ethiopia Chelchele coffee.
Dose: 18g ground at a fine setting
Yield: 36g extracted
Time: 32 seconds
Note: This espresso recipe is developed on a Rocket Appartamento home espresso machine. Please use this as a guide to aid in achieving your desired flavour preference. If you are unable to reproduce the exact result on your home machine, don’t panic, an alternative is to simply adjust your recipe using the ratio, so it works best for your set up.