• Rating: [rating:4.5/5]

Over the course of the last week I’ve roasted several batches of new coffees from my favorite purveyor of green coffees, Sweet Marias. The first on my tasting list is a brilliant Ethiopian Yirgacheffe under the MAO mark (lot 538).

I haven’t roasted in a while, so after lots of seasonal cleaning (you won’t believe all the places chaff can build up on a roaster!) I gathered up my watch and my notebook… both indispensable tools when roasting a new bean. This one got treated to just the vanguard snaps of 2nd crack, though that’s mere happenstance… I still roast mostly by nose, and this coffee offered a pronounced sweet-savory signal in its smoke.
The result: wonderful, room-filling sweet floral and citrus aromas (most remarkable I’ve experienced since Barry scored that stunning Yirg a year or three ago) that evoke apple blossoms and jasmine. Its acidity is high-toned; subtle citrus… very smooth and not at all shrill. Its flavors are rich and complex; a bit of smoldering cedar, a little roasty lapsang souchong tea (black tea, but more like a flowery dark oolong). Far more body than I’d expect from a washed coffee… and a finish that sweetly fades into dark, sweet cherries.

Highly recommended. If you’re a home-roaster, add this coffee to your next Sweet Maria’s order. If you’re not a home-roaster, I can’t think of any better reason to start.

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