Week 3 of 4 with Brandywine Coffee Roasters is here, and this week I’m drinking their Ethiopia Idido Natural. This heirloom varietal from the Gedeo region of Yirgacheffe is naturally processed, consisting of quite small but fairly dense for their size beans. As with most other naturally processed Ethiopians I’ve had this year, gone are the days of blueberry bombs and in your face fruit, as the more recent crops seem to have lighter and more subtle flavors. Brandywine describes this coffee as strawberry, cream, and Meyer lemon, and I think they’re spot on.
Both as espresso and brewed, the strawberry is definitely more subtle than I was expecting for a naturally processed Ethiopian with a giant strawberry drawn on the bag. It reminds me more a dried strawberry, kind of like dried fruit strawberries in some cereals or granolas. It’s light and sweet, and not too in your face. It is complimented by a hint of berries and cream sweetness, but overall the body is light for a naturally processed coffee. In the end though, the note that I found most pleasantly predominant and identifiable was the lemon. I can’t tell you how the flavor of Meyer lemons differs from regular lemons (google’ing that now), but this has a lemony sweetness in the best way possible, in that it doesn’t have lemony acidity. <update> I just read this is the trademark of Meyer lemons; all of the flavor and sweetness without the tartness and acidic bite. So, I guess the Meyer lemon tasting note rings incredibly true by providing an added complexity and light and bright sweetness without much acidity or tart flavors. I found this most apparent when I pulled this coffee as espresso.
- 18 grams in the 18 gram VST basket
- 30 – 33 grams out in 26 seconds or so around 197*F was the recipe I found worked best to highlight the fruit flavors and balance the sweetness and smoothness.
As pour over coffee, I kept working towards the most thorough extraction I could achieve in the shortest time possible. I did this because when brewed at finer grinds and around 2:30 brew time; the coffee became muddled and a bit dry, signaling over extraction. I did not want to under extract the coffee and create unbalanced acidic and astringent lemon flavors either. So, I went to a fairly coarse grind and the following recipe:
- 20 grams in 02 size V60 using 196*F water
- 50 gram bloom, thoroughly stirred and left to bloom for 30 seconds.
- Pour to 200 grams evenly saturating all grounds and stir.
- Continuous and repetitive small pours to maintain water level, and keep grinds submerged to 340 grams (1:17 ratio)
- 2:00 – 2:15 brew time.
- The brewed coffee had a light, smooth body highlighting the Meyer lemon sweetness. This was really an enjoyable cup, perfect for a lazy weekend morning or warmer weather.
Through the Aeropress the coffee was equally a subtle and nuanced, particularly for a natural process, featuring a bit more of the strawberry and relying on the lemon for brightness. The Aeropress was fairly easy to get a good cup out of, and also provided a heavier body if the coffee was too light as a pourover.
- 17 grams in, ground more on the coarse side, inverted method
- Fill with water about 45 seconds off boil to the top
- A good 5-10 stirs
- Flip over and pull up slightly, plunge at 1:00, total brew time 1:30.
This recipe is pretty basic and I was satisfied with the results up in the mountain, so I wasn’t too inclined to mess with it, but overall it made for a nice cup of coffee.