'Quite simply, this is the most delicious washed Ethiopian coffee I've tasted in years. Fruity, floral and with that typical tea-like body, I could drink this endlessly.'
Wow. Ethiopian coffee has a special place in my heart. There's nothing quite like it, so I was beyond excited to find this lot. It reminds me of the coffee we were drinking back when Foundry was a baby and it makes me so happy to see coffee like this coming out of the country again.
As you'd expect, the coffee is really complex - that's a given. But, it's the way that all that wildness somehow works together and balances that never fails to amaze me. In the cup, you'll find that typical peachy fruitiness sitting alongside a juicy tangerine-like acidity. The floral notes are huge too, think jasmine any maybe even lemongrass notes. The experience is finished by a lovely black tea note which keeps everything from getting too sweet.
Exceptional as filter, or brewed under pressure, either in an espresso machine or a bean to cup machine. In fact, however you like to brew, I can guarantee that if you like your coffee wild, you're going to adore this one.
Origin: Damo Village, Bensa, Sidama.
Varietals: 74110, 74112 and 74158
Roast degree: 127 (read more).
Suitable for: All Brew Methods (read more)
Q Score: 87.5 (what's this?)
You can get more sensory information about the coffee by looking at the diagrams in the images above. If you need to know how these work, just click here.
Taste and flavour perception are complex and difficult to articulate. We love sharing our tasting notes with you, but please don't rely too heavily on our reports. Your experience is what matters most and it may be different. We've written about that whole issue here.
IMPORTANT: Please read our short Coffee Bean Care Guide here.
Want to know more about this coffee? Read on......
Nestled on the fertile slopes of the towering Shanta Golba mountain in the heart of Ethiopia's renowned coffee region, the Damo Station was founded with the goal of processing the highest quality lots from the area. For generations, the local Sidama people have cultivated these verdant hills, producing complex coffees acclaimed for their bright, fruity notes and syrupy body.
The Damo Station works closely with local farmers, providing a reliable market for their harvest. During the labour-intensive coffee picking seasons from December to February, the station employs over 100 people, bringing much-needed income to the community. They pay farmers 20-30% above average prices, recognising the value of their hard work and premium coffee cherries.
This year's harvest yielded 4-5 tonnes of green coffee from the Damo village and surroundings, located at 1860-2160 meters above sea level with GPS coordinates of 6032'51"N and 38050'7"E. The lot is aptly named Damo after this well-known coffee growing kebele (place). It contains a mix of the indigenous heirloom varieties 74110, 74112, and 74158, each contributing its own flavors - wild fruit notes, syrupy body, and floral fragrance paired with rich citrus undertones.
The Damo Station's experienced team of 3 permanent and 98 temporary can produced 391,000Kg from this season's harvest.
Following traditional practices, the coffee is grown organically under the shade of native trees that forego hand pruning to guarantee the right amount of shading to slow down the coffee growing and maximise the productivity, farmers and local workers pick and sort only perfectly ripe red cherries.
Within hours from delivery at the station the fruit is depulped and then fermented in tanks for 48-72 hours to develop the coffee's signature flavor profile. After careful washing, the parchment is set to dry on raised African beds for 12-15 days, the green coffee is rested for 45 days in the local warehouse before meticulously been milled and hand sorted to be prepared for export.
In addition to producing outstanding coffee, the Damo Station invests in the community through initiatives. Only last year the exporter built 5 rural schools in the surrounding villages, offering processing education for youth, and distributing coffee seedlings to farmers.
However, they face challenges including climate change, supply chain issues, and economic instability. The station has future plans to expand by acquiring more processing facilities in prized coffee areas and building their own export operations. Beyond coffee, they also cultivate sugar cane, barley, maize, bananas, kale, passionfruit and avocados.
The Damo Station's excellent coffee and ethical production practices showcase how Ethiopia's smallholder farmers can produce specialty coffee sustainably, improving lives in the community for generations to come.