Name: Ethiopia Amaro Natural
Origin: Yrgacheffe, Ethiopia
Preparation: Freshly ground, French-pressed, sipped black
It is not too uncommon to encounter a coffee that has a distinct personality like a nice wine, or that is elegantly refreshing as a cup of tea. But to find a coffee that is both things as once, as well as deeply sophisticated as a coffee in its own right, is a rare treat indeed. We have that here with the Ethiopia Amaro Natural from Oren's Daily Roast.
The coffee brews into a dark brown liquid, not ebony, but a true brown. It is solid and deep, which speaks to a certain maturity. Indeed, that is the key word in describing this coffee's personality: mature.
There is plenty of fruit in the nose, as though a bouquet of berries is hanging off the tip of my nose, danging in front of me. There are some florals around the edges. There are also the beginnings of spice notes without the actual spice - would that perhaps be herbiness? The aroma is smooth and robust.
The fruits are forward in the tasting notes as well, as one would expect from an African coffee. But it is less of an in-your-face kind of thing here in the palate than it was in the aroma; here it is more of a delicate, elegant delight. In this way, the coffee seems to take on the leisurely, aristocratic mannerisms of a fine tea; in fact, in my mind's eye I am transported to a Victorian tea garden. Nevertheless, the complexity and depth are most reminiscent of a mature wine. There is a little bit more of an "amaro" air to it than with the standard Ethiopian coffee, but generally speaking it is still rather negligible. In addition to the fruit, there is some nuttiness, some florals, and just a smattering of earth. The coffee is light, slightly tannic, slightly acidic (increasingly so as the cup unfolds), and in all candor, just exquisite. The notes interact in such a way that the whole is considerably greater than the sum of the parts. The fruits and florals follow through to the finish.
I was expecting, especially after experiencing the aroma, for a rich, syrupy, luxurious fruitiness to punch me in the face. Something as light as this, with the air of a tea, could easily have been a disappointment. However, this Ethiopia carries on confidently, naturally, with poise, not oblivious but without any regard to the fact that it might have had a different profile. It is mature, subtle, sophisticated, remarkably graceful, and last but not least, very tasty. It won me over completely, with ease. Pick some up today, and enjoy.