This will be a combined review, both of us having received samples. For a description of Bob and Jim's evaluation procedure, see our reference page.
The Adado lots at the last two Ecafe auctions wowed the judges with their intense Yrgacheffe florals combined with dry process sweetness and body. The preship samples were equally spectacular (see the special interest coffee section for a review). But there is many a slip between preship and ship; and this lot went through quite a few. This coffee is much more subdued than the Ecafe Adado, and we split on its overall quality.
This coffee has softened into what is for me a wonderful treat. The dry aroma announces it: apricot bomb. Wet, slight notes of cinnamon and violets are added, and the aroma becomes enchanting. The taste is like apricot syrup with cinnamon, very pleasant but lacking in complexity. All in all, this is much closer to a traditional dry processed Sidamo than an Yrgacheffe. However, the finish tells the story about the preparation standard; this coffee is clean as a whistle.
Good as this coffee is in the cup, it is better as a shot. The powerful apricot flavor comes through, and the subdued acidity means that there is no hint of sour. The cinnamon flavor is amplified by the pressure extraction, and creates a very good balance. For espresso, the coffee should be roasted to just ahead of the 2nd crack to retain the fruit.
Additional Notes by Bob:
We are split on this one. Having "experienced" some of the great Ethiopian DPs from last year and some from this year, as well, I found myself just a bit disappointed in this coffee. Although, relative to many or even most of the coffees on the world market today, it is a very fine and unusual coffee and well worth obtaining for the enjoyment it will provide, it doesn't seem to soar to the same heights as have others.
Missing for me is the intense fruit that is promised by the dry aroma - citrus, banana, pineapple, apricot and cloves (Jim senses it as cinnamon). Even the green beans have a fruity banana fragrance. But then, the fruitiness becomes subdued in the cup and the cup goes slightly astringent on cooling, lacking the sweetness that is possible from these DPs. But the benchmark was set very high by some of these distinctive coffees and I'm really splitting hairs here. Again, this very fine coffee will give serious drinkers great pleasure.
Dry Fragrance: 4.7
Wet Aroma: 4.4
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 89.9
Dry fragrance: 4.75
Wet Aroma: 5.0
TOTAL (subtotal + 50): 92.25