The Hunkute co-operative is, to our great pleasure, becoming a familiar staple in our coffee range. In both 2013 and 2014 we were lucky enough to secure great lots of coffee from the Sidamo co-op, to run as filter coffee and also as our house espresso. This year we will be releasing the Hunkute as the first house espresso not under the moniker ‘Cult of Done’ to celebrate the co-operative itself and all the hard work they do. This fantastic lot was just one of the exciting Ethiopian coffees that Richard selected during his trip to Ethiopia in February earlier this year.
The cherries brought to the washing station by the 1,700 or so smallholder farmers, all organically grown, are hand sorted for under and over ripe cheries before they are processed. The farmers will occasionally have access to and use organic fertilisers, but often won’t even prune their trees, simply picking what the tree happens to produce. Whilst untamed, unkempt and wild, the incredibly high altitude and the healthy mix of coffee tree varieties makes for good fruit that the farmers hand pick, and hence seeds that can result in a delicious cup of coffee. Using a traditional disc pulper the cherry skins are removed, and the mucilage is broken down during the 12-24 hour under- water fermentation period, before being graded in washing channels that sort the seeds by their tendency to sink or float; by their density.
Once the parchment is clean and the higher grade lots have been isolated, the seeds are dried on hessian cloth under sun for between 10 and 15 days on raised beds. When the sun is at it’s hottest during the middle of the day and when the air is most humid during the night the coffee is covered by plastic cloths to ensure a more careful and considered drying period.
This lot displays some of the typical Sidamo flavour profile, whilst characteristics we have noticed in years past also come back to add another layer of complexity to the unique cup profile. As well as sweet lemon and inviting florals we pick up some preserved citrus character, akin to marmalade, and a very edgy peppery note, like fresh white peppercorns, that really adds to the aromatic and moreish cup profile.