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This one acts and tastes more like a Sidamo, but technically it is not, it is farther north than what is considered to be the Sidamo region. We roast it slower and bring out the chocolate, hide the acidity. At the finish is a strawberry, and you have chocolate covered strawberry coffee. Too light of a roast or too quick of a roast results in a tartness or acidity that masks the chocolate, but the slower roast accentuates the chocolate and gives you a creamy coffee. I don't dislike the shorter roasts, but nonetheless I don't think it's the best way to handle this bean.
This is a natural process coffee, so it does have to be a light roast coffee -- we roast it to the same bean temperature as any other natural Ethiopian -- about 20 seconds after the 1st cracks end. The key is the middle of the roast. On most Ethiopians, you want that sparkling acidity, and you keep the time from 300 degrees up the first cracks at around 5 minutes or so. On this one, we stretch out the middle window by a minute. and it is a real prize. No earthiness or astringency, but a lot of milk chocolate and a lot of fruit (namely strawberry). I’m really happy with it. I’ve been out of stock on good Sidamo for awhile, so this one came along and tasted like one, and we went for it.
If you take it close to the 2nd cracks, it turns from milk chocolate to a bitter dark chocolate coffee, and that isn't really a good thing, although its drinkable. But if you make espresso from that roast, you have a fruity and chocolatey bright espresso.