Ethiopia Nano Challa

Ethiopian Single Origins and Last Exit Espresso by Michael Power

This week at Clarity we have one single origin from Heart Roasters in Portland, OR and both a coffee blend as well as a single origin offered by Ritual Coffee in San Fransisco, CA. 

From Ritual, we are offering a single origin Ethiopian from the Gera District of Jimma, Yukro. This area, which has often been overlooked for more well known regions such as Harrar and Kochere, is beginning to gain spotlight with their high-quality beans. With incredible attention to detail, the Yukro Cooperative picks only the ripest cherries, carefully processes these cherries, and then dries the coffee on raised beds. The wild coffee that is grown in this region, paired with the the close attention to detail, presents a coffee that is both bright with floral aromatics, as well as an extremely clean finish. In short, we dig this coffee. Secondly, the blended coffee, which they've named Last Exit, is comprised of two Guatemalans, a Columbian, and an El Salvadoran coffee. Named after a beautiful and nostalgic underpass in the Bay area, this coffee offers notes of pear and honeycomb (also note for a more elegant explanation of this coffee please look up the coffee description on Ritual's website, you will not be disappointed). 

Next, from Heart, we have another Ethiopian single origin from Nano Challa in Jimma. Nano is a cooperative- well known for its incredible management that leads this crop to be more tasty and successful harvest after harvest. After the coffee is picked, it is hand sorted to ensure the de-pulping and washing of only ripe cherries. The coffee is then washed and fermented for a small period of time before it is dried on raised beds. It is not often that we get a coffee, known for its floral notes that also stands out in milk, but Nano Challa definitely fits the bill. Finally, we have Heart's excellent Stereo Blend, comprised of Ethiopia Yukro and Colombia Milagrosa, offering notes of cola, cherry, and dark chocolate. 

Kenya Kamwangi and Coffee Varieties by Michael Power

This week at Clarity Coffee we will be featuring multiple coffees roasted out of two different locations! 

First, from Heart Coffee in Portland Oregon we have the Guatemalan, El Guatalon and the Ethiopian, Nano Challa. Both of these excellent coffees are fully washed in their processing. 

Secondly, from Tweed Coffee in Dallas Texas the El Durrembe from El Salvador and the Kamwangi AA from Kenya. 

We will put the spotlight on the Kamwangi for a second and talk about this interesting coffee. Let's back up just a bit and do a quick overview of how coffee is grown, starting with a a thirty thousand foot view.

Coffee beans are grown in cherries produced by coffee trees. Like all fruit, there are different varieties and even species of plants used to grow fruit and coffee is no exception. Coffee species can generally be broken down into Arabica and Robusta. Robusta is an entirely different plant species that is not commonly used in specialty coffee. When talking about specialty coffee, we almost exclusively assume all coffees will be grown from the plant species Arabica. Diving further into Arabica, there are a vast number of different varieties of cherries (bluntly categorized into natural mutations or man made.) A majority of these varieties are regionally specific for certain agricultural needs and where they might thrive (altitude, plant disease, access to water, etc.) In Kenya, respectively, the varieties SL-28 and SL-34 are most common, both of which make up the Kamwangi. What is uncommon (but is quickly becoming more common) is the third variety that makes up this coffee, Ruiru 11. This is what the focus will be on, so If I have peaked your curiosity, stay with me while I get even nerdier.

Ruiru is the scientific culmination of SL-28, other Arabica varieties, and a Robusta variety. What Robusta lacks is what we call "cup quality". Basically it just does not taste that good. However, Robusta is a much easier coffee plant to grow. Bringing this all back together and why this is a good thing for Kenya, SL-28, prized for it's incredible "cup quality", is met with a coffee species that is highly defect and disease resistant! Over the last few years, Kenyan coffee has seen harsh agricultural seasons because of their susceptibility to plant disease and leaf rust. These improved agricultural practices allow Kenya not only to grow a more disease resistant coffee but a lot more of it.

For more information on this coffee (or any coffee) stop by the shop, sit at the bar, and ask any one of our baristas questions! While we love making coffee, we also love talking coffee! As always, these coffees will all be available on the retail shelf!