Review: Stumptown Coffee Roasters // Ethiopia Mordecofe
After only 24 hours, I decided to come out of retirement. Call me the Bret Favre of coffee-blogging. I just couldn’t pull myself away from all of you! Actually, here’s what really happened: I spent my entire day in a daze after trying out that K-Cup from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Something about its “extra boldness” went straight to my head and made me woozy. It wasn’t until I stopped in at The Wormhole this morning and had a cup of some really great coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters that I finally snapped out of my K-Cup fueled stupor.
Ready to get things back on track? Feel free to pull up a chair.
In 2001, Haile Gebre left his government post as director of all cooperative business in Ethiopia. He returned to his home to cultivate coffee on his grandfather’s land in the highland forests of Southern Ethiopia. After over a decade of hard work and dedication, Haile now owns and operates two farms and a washing station under the Mordecofe umbrella. This organization works with medium-sized coffee farmers in the immediate area to produce high quality, organic coffee.
By providing a 100% organic certification, Mordecofe supports a better life for the community of farmers and their families while promoting environmental stewardship. Farmers are provided new seedlings through nursery sites and extensive education on harvesting, cherry selection, and organic agricultural practices. There are twelve permanent staff members who offer practical experience in coffee production, processing, and harvesting and, in addition, 200 temporary workers during the harvest.
This is the fourth consecutive year that Stumptown Coffee Roasters has offered coffee from Mordecofe.
Origin: Mora Mora River Valley, Guji, Ethiopia
Elevation: 1700-1900 meters above sea level
Cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom
Process: washed, raised-bed dried
Certifications: Direct Trade, USDA Organic
Coffees that come from the Guji region of Ethiopia seem to have a few things in common: they’re light-bodied, floral, herbal, and tea-like.
The aroma of this particular coffee seems to indicate that. It’s got a very floral aroma to it, with scents of lilac and rose hips. It also has an herbal quality to it, like jasmine. What’s unlike other Gujis I’ve had, though, is this coffee actually smells kind of – “hoppy.” Like an India Pale Ale. Hops are flowers – so I guess that qualifies as a “floral” note, right?
That hoppiness makes an ever-so-slight appearance in the flavor, but not enough to really wow me. I’m more impressed with the chocolate-covered candy apple sweetness of it. With each sip I get a creamy, syrupy bed of chocolate and caramel with sweet (but subdued) apple or pear, and peach juiciness. As the cup cools down, the chocolate fades a bit, the caramel stays the same, and a honey flavor starts to emerge; with the heavy-bodied chocolate gone, the fruity sweetness gets more opportunity to showcase itself, and the floral notes that we found in the aromatics now start releasing – as if the chocolate was weighing them down or covering them. Now that the coffee is lukewarm, it’s much more of a floral cup of coffee with the lilac and rosehips coming out more and more.
Now, at room temperature, the cup has taken on a totally different flavor: this is going to sound awfully specific, but I’m thinking that the room temperature version of this coffee tastes a lot like iced black tea with a dash of the artificial sweetener, Splenda. The coffee is now very black tea-like, but it’s not like a Darjeeling or Ceylon. I guess if it’s like any tea it would be Earl Grey, but it doesn’t have much, if any, astringency. However, the floral attributes make the cup somewhat like a chamomile tea, too. But, hey – I may be Irish, but I’m no tea expert.
This coffee has a light/medium body; smooth, clean finish; low, balanced citrus acidity.
the bottom line:
I really liked this one. There wasn’t much about it that really wowed or impressed me (besides the hops in the aroma and the similarity to iced black tea with Splenda in it), but it’s definitely not a boring cup of coffee. The flavors shift and change and develop throughout the stages of the cup, so it’s very interesting and will offer you a very unique coffee with each sip – chocolate and caramel, apple and peach, lilac and rosehips, bergamot and lavendar (in that order, actually); thoroughly enjoyable at each point in the cup’s life.