Our exclusive coffee for the “Lighter Side Of Life” (LSOL) subscription


At the end of May we prepared an exclusive coffee for the LSOL (“Lighter Side Of Life”) subscription programme; its members being the coffee fanatics of the UK Coffee Forums.  The concept works like this: a coffee is sent out without any information and it is down to subscribers to brew, taste, and pick out the tasting notes, then share their thoughts with other subscribers.  Here is the full reveal for the coffee in question.

Possibly the earliest from the 2018 harvest?

The Shakiso town in Guji, Ethiopia, has generated some of the best coffees in the world.  Arguably (for us, easily) better than far more expensive coffees such as the Geshas from Central and South America.  The region is quite simply a consistent supplier of 90+ coffees.

Coffee from across the rest of the world was originally stolen from the Ethiopian region, and is surely the reason why 95% of the world’s coffee genetic diversity is to be found in this region.  Panama may have one farm with an epically-prized Gesha, but Ethiopia has 5,000 “Geshas” — it just has a poorer marketing department…

This prototype, which we’ve named “LOT 1” is a single estate natural-processed coffee from the Mormora Plantation.  We sourced it exclusively for the LSOL after it blew our socks off at one of the many cuppings at London Coffee Festival.  Mormora has won several national awards throughout the years and is a stellar, highly regarded producer.

It’s one of the first — if not the first — Ethiopian naturals to land in the UK from the 2018 harvest.

An intricate, multi-layered beast

The coffee is incredibly complex.  Opening with a top-note burst of lavender on the nose, parma violets on the tongue.  It then nestles into a juicy strawberry-led fruit bomb, with blueberry, apricot, nectarine and fig.  At this point, the palette leans more towards clarity than the creaminess we had with last year’s much-lauded Ato.  It’s far more delicate than last year’s Ato, so does require some care and attention.  The natural funk is present, but less in-your-face and more likely to work in milk drinks.  (The fermented funk of Natural Processing can give the drinker a hint of “off” milk, if the funk is too strong.)

However, even with the juicy clarity in the middle, the coffee then clears away for a deep cacao and hazelnut praline-like finish — like a fancy bar of Madagascan 72% chocolate, with a soft centre.  This allows the nostalgic creaminess (funk) of the natural processing to appear later on.  It’s unique for an Ethiopian natural to offer so many layers, since they’re normally lovely and sweet, but somewhat one-dimensional.  This one feels much like a master perfumer at work.

Just brew it.

This coffee is incredibly versatile and will work with a plethora of brewing options.  Our favourite brew is a slight updose on the classic V60 recipe.  12.5g into 200g of water, with Tetsu Kasuya’s Brewers Cup winning 4-6 pour method does the job nicely.  Pull back the grind as coarse as possible (before it becomes overly weak/astringent) to enjoy its full complexity.  You will find florals, fruit, chocolate and nut very easily.  When the brew is nailed, the coffee should sit in the middle of your tongue.  If the coffee sits too much towards the back or front of the palette, it will alter the profile’s balance.

We hope everyone who subscribed to the LSOL enjoyed the coffee as much as we have.  And congratulations to those that guessed the origin correctly!

To see the forum discussion in full, please visit our LSOL thread.

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