This is the famed Misty Valley Ethiopian which became well known for its blueberry notes. In this year’s crop, the blueberry notes are there, but they’re faint. You have to roast it light to medium light (see my picture in the gallery for how I roasted it) to draw the blueberry out. If you go much darker, the chocolate and spice will dominate the cup. I didn’t really notice the blueberry until about 72 hours after the roast and it was more noticeable when it had cooled.
In my tasting I noted blueberry, spice, lemon and black tea. This is a complex coffee with a medium length finish. and full, slightly tannic mouthfeel.
The washed coffees of Yirgacheffe have long been prized for their delicate, tea-like aromatics and clean citrus flavor. Recently, producers in the Gedio region have been reinventing the natural process originally developed in Ethiopia to offer a completely different profile from this well-known origin. The Misty Valley is a prime example of the fruitiness, complexity, and character of these Natural Yirgacheffe coffees.
Developed by exporter and producer partner Abdullah Bagersh, the Natural Misty Valley is subject to an incredible amount of care from start to finish. When the ripe cherries are first brought to the mill to dry on raised African beds, they are constantly turned (day and night!) for the first 48 hours of drying to ensure an even evaporation of the moisture from the cherry. This lends a consistency and cleanliness to the cup, which can prove difficult in a process prone to mold and uneven air circulation. After the coffee is fully dried and the skin, mucilage, and parchment removed, it is sorted and traded through the Ethiopian Coffee Exchange as a Grade 1 Yirgacheffe.
In the cup, the Misty Valley truly delivers. A perfumed floral aroma leads into a crisp and complex fruit basket flavor. Milky body provides the backbone for the fruit and aromatics, creating a harmonious balance. The cup finishes with lingering, pleasant mouthfeel.