Allow me to park the guarded copy writing style for a moment and shoot from the hip — as if the first four lockdowns weren't bad enough, there's no denying that this 5th iteration sucks beyond belief.
But look on the bright side we must, and thankfully there's a slew of fresh coffees arriving from East Africa, just in time to lift lockdown spirits — principally mine, but I'm hoping yours as well.
Every year, coffee lovers around the world look forward to the arrival of fresh east African coffees and despite having a few seasons under my belt now, I'm no exception. The vibrancy and sparkle that these fresh arrivals bring stirs many of the same feelings I get from spotting the first ripe strawberries of the season in my mum's garden, or seeing the wattle erupt into spectacular bloom from my kitchen window overlooking the Merri Creek.
While it's true that florists always carry yellow flowers and Coles stocks plastic punnets of strawberries fifty-two weeks of the year, there's simply no comparing with the complexity and flavour of those that develop according to the seasons, nor the fondness of heart amplified by their absence in the off-seasons.
So, while it's an unspeakably dreary Melbourne afternoon on which Lockdown 5.0 has just been extended, one of the silver linings to be gleaned from this particular cloud is the fact that the first two coffees from our upcoming schedule of Kenyan and Ethiopian releases are transcendent, holographic, and delicious — absolute stunners.
The first is called Yukro Lot #1, and comes from the western part of Ethiopia. There's a chance you'll have heard of Yukro before — it's a reasonably large farmer's co-operative in the Agaro region — and while I've never had the chance to visit, I've bought from this group a number of times before.
I'm a big sucker for coffees from the west of Ethiopia, tending to find them richer, rounder, and deeper than some of the (inarguably also sensational) coffees from Yirgacheffe or Sidamo that are better represented here in Australia. Yukro is a great example of that style, vibrant and juciy with plenty of sparkling citrus notes, balanced and amplified by a lightly-spiced, honeyed sweetness.
The second is an old Bureaux favourite from Kirinyaga, Kenya called Kainamui. The name is that of the washing station or factory — the place where around 2,000 co-operative member farmers bring their ripe coffee cherries for processing. While this is the third consecutive year that we've bought from the New Ngariama Co-op, every harvest has been a little different, and I continue to adore the coffees they produce. This specific lot, an AB selection from the early part of the season, is sweet and vibrant, juicy and playful, tasting of Fuji apple and blackberry jam — everything a great Kenyan coffee should be.
We're roasting both of these coffees for filter brewing (think AeroPress, pourover, plunger or batch), and they're available in our web shop right now. While they'll be in our range for some months to come, and we have around five more coffees from east Africa to release, there's nothing quite like experiencing them at their peak.