Bright with a smooth mouthfeel, we taste the fruit in this coffee, passionfruit, berries, and lemongrass.
This coffee is named after Sedaqa Olonso, a brand new washing station located in the countryside of Sidama, Ethiopia. It was built to serve over 400 smallholder coffee farmers that live in the surrounding region. As is true in most parts of Ethiopian, their farms are small, ranging from backyard “garden” coffee to an average of 2.75 hectares. Coffee is a cash crop, and though often a grower may produce only 2 or 3 bags per year, sale of their cherries enables them to improve their quality of life, send their children to school and purchase necessities. Having a washing station within the area means that they do not have to trek so far with their cherries, which besides being much more convenient and efficient, enables the cherries to reach the station while still at their peak of freshness.
What is Honey processing?
After the skin and pulp is removed from the coffee cherry, the beans are fermented for a full 24 hours with their mucilage-heavy parchment (a membrane that surrounds the beans) intact. Then they're carefully washed to preserve some of the mucilage, stopping short of a fully washed coffee. Once washed, the beans are moved to shaded drying beds where they slowly dry under a shade canopy with excellent airflow. The drying with shade adds 4 to 5 days overall drying time with this White Honey, and affords a stable distribution of moisture content throughout the cellular structure, along with a dialed in water activity. While shade drying gives just a little more control than full sun-drying, it can be a little tricky to cover the beans at the right times. We find this strong uniformity in the drying of all the coffees is critical in a good honey process.
What is the difference between black, red, and white honey?
Black, Red, and White Honey processed refers to the color of the parchment surrounding the depulped coffee bean. Black Honey coffees carry characteristic black splotches from the heavy mucilage load. Red Honey coffees are also splotched, but less so than black and the splotches are more red than black. White Honey carries the least mucilage and is more yellow/white in hue over all.
I have always wondered what chemical influences most mainline coffee people who assign notes to coffees are affected by when they write descriptions. I rarely taste what I'm supposed to. But this one--holy smokes! With my standard pour over method employed, all of the flavors came zinging through, especially the lemon grass. This one is a little pricey, but if you need a little splurge in your life this won't disappoint. Five stars!