The Konga & Wahana espresso coffees were back on the cupping table. This was a great opportunity to see how roast profiles can transform a coffee and so we had some roastery fun and developed a filter roast for these dynamic beans.
The Konga espresso was definitely a wow coffee for me. Whilst Sam (Dunford) was experimenting with this coffee for his Barista competition entry, I became fascinated with how rich and chocolaty this espresso could be. It was superb with milk, and brought a stewed fruity finish to the cup.
However, as a filter, this natural Yirgacheffe coffee comes alive with sweet sherbet aromas, lemon acidity and the floral sweetness of dandelion & burdock. It’s like a visit to an old fashioned sweet shop.
This naturally processed coffee sees ripe cherries delivered to Kebel Woreda Konga mill, where cherries are graded and then placed onto raised drying beds. Six weeks later, the beans are de-hulled, transported to the capital in parchment, and then milled prior to shipping. The coffee can only be identified as far back as the region and mill name due to the fragmented nature of farming in Ethiopia and the control of the federal government over all coffee exports. Prices paid to farmers are fixed and most Ethiopian coffee is commonly named after its growing region.
In the Aero-press the Konga’s sticky sweetness starts to taste like bourbon & Parma Violets, an intriguing profile that demonstrates the diversity of this coffee. Use a medium coarse grind, 15g of coffee to 240g of water, a 30sec stir and 2 minute extraction.
Similarly to the Konga, this was an espresso I’d come to rely on to demonstrate just how crazy some coffees could be. This Indonesian coffee had featured as a single origin espresso and last year as the Unkle Funka bean. Switching up the roast has seen a new dimension to this firm favourite. As an espresso this Sumatran coffee had brought a sharp acidity alongside a malty mouth feel. As a filter coffee, the sharpness remains alongside a tangerine sweetness and blood orange finish.
Only organic fertilizers are used on the farm, made up mostly of composted coffee cherries, and all coffee plantations lie in shade canopy. Wahana also has a strong focus on social responsibility, which provides workers with housing and health clinics.
We have been wrestling with the tasting notes for this coffee, as each brew method seems to highlight different tastes and textures. The fine filtration of brewing with a chemex emphasizes the citrusy top notes of the Wahana. For a half litre brew, use a 32g medium coarse dose (a notch finer than for a cafetiere). Begin by wetting the filter and warming the glass, then pour in the grounds followed by just enough hot water to cover them. Leave for to pre-infuse for 30 seconds, and then slowly pour the remaining water (you can break the bloom and stir gently before the second pour). Within 4 minutes the extraction should be complete. As well as the orange acidity, sweetness develops in the form of raisin and prune, and final thoughts are of sour cherry.
As always, keep us posted on your home brews: firstname.lastname@example.org
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