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Ethiopia - Sidamo - Natural - Gerbichu Lela - FTO

September 3, 2008

This coffee was roasted in a PID'd Sirocco "fluid bed" hot air roaster and was cupped blind against other coffees including a control sample. After cupping, it was tasted as a brewed coffee and espresso extraction. For more information on my sample roaster and method, see our reference page.

Note: The website link above will take you to the relatively new web page of this roaster. This coffee is not shown on the web site so follow the link to contact the roaster.

In the few years that have passed since the first eCafe competitions in Ethiopia helped bring natural (dry) processed coffees to the attention of the coffee world, these coffees have attained a high degree of prominence. Dried in the sun on raised racks with their outer skins still intact, these coffees develop uniquely fruity flavors and are quite different than their washed siblings. The coffee reviewed here, "natural-processed" beans from the Gerbichu Lela Cooperative is a fine examples of this type of coffee.

Gerbichu Lela is a sub-organization of the large Sidama Coffee Cooperative Union in the Sidamo Region of Ethiopia, some 200 miles south of Addis Ababa and about 1000 farmers belong to the Co-op. Gerbichu coffees are considered to be among the best in the region and, for example, placed in the top 10 in the 2005 and 2006 Ethiopia eCafe Gold competition.

This is a fruity coffee with dry fragrances, confirmed in the cup flavors, of blueberries, raspberries, dried apricots and citrus balanced by chocolate and vanilla mid-tones. It is a sweet coffee with good acidity, rich body and a medium-long finish.

I suggest a light roast for maximum fruitiness and a brewed beverage (pour-over, French press or vac-pot) to enjoy the varietal quality of this coffee. However, a light-roast cappuccino is also an excellent choice with the fruit punching through the milk. A straight espresso will be a bit too acidic and sour for most coffee drinkers.

Dry Fragrance: 4.3
Wet Aroma: 4.3
Flavor: 7.5
Finish: 7.5
Acidity: 7.6
Body: 7.6
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 88.8

  • Lighter Roasts: Best, for full fruit and varietal characteristics.
  • Darker Roasts: Fruit is lost in roast tastes.
  • As Espresso: Straight espresso not recommended but cappuccino is excellent.


UPDATED: September 4, 2008