Thursday, September 17, 2009

Amaro Gayo

So Shea brought home a small bag of whole bean coffee the other day. Not an unusual occurrence at our house, and I was excited because I love to drink coffee but this was no ordinary coffee... and I was not as excited as I should have been...

The coffee in the bag was the world's best coffee. Literally.

It had been voted the best coffee in 2008... in the world.

A friend who works in a coffee shop had been telling her about it and had brought her a bag when they roasted it. It's an Ethiopian coffee grown on the only plantation run entirely by women. Its called Amaro Gayo. The coffee beans were harvested in 2008 and were shipped, un-roasted, all over the world. But coffee from a specific plantation harvested at a certain time on another continent; not exactly easy come by.

Once Shea told me all of this I was very excited. Extremely excited. Grown man jumping up and down and repeating "do you want some coffee now! do you want some coffee now!" over and over again, excited.

And if it hadn't been 1:30 in the morning I'm sure I would have ground and brewed it right then and there. But with sleep on the horizon, or maybe below the horizon at this point we decided it best to wait until the morning.

Shortly after getting up I was in the kitchen wishing I had better coffee brewing equipment... I wanted to do this coffee justice. I really wanted a burr grinder and a french press, but had to settle for the blade grinder and drip coffee maker we have. I did, however, reach for the bottled water. :-)

The smell of the coffee coming out of the grinder was profound. Complex, earthy and fruity, toasty and warm. Soon after the brewing began the smell of coffee filled the kitchen and my mouth began to salivate...

Now we like our coffee with heavy cream, (which may sound odd but if you take milk in your coffee then try it. A little goes a long way) but on this special occasion we started with the coffee black.

The first sip was amazing. I just wish I had a better coffee palate to enjoy it to its fullest. It was one of the best cups of coffee we have ever had. Smooth and complex, it seemed to hit my taste buds from every angle. It was not bitter in the least bit, nor acidic or flat. It had a fruity, full finish. It lacked... well nothing.

I have to admit I was not able to pull out all the exact flavors, but even with my amateur palate I could tell it was an unbelievable cup of coffee.

Here is the description of it that I found online:

Cupping Notes:
Gloriously balanced and thickly sweet. Straight up Sidamo berries. Nuances of orange marmalade, raspberries and cashew fruits. Touches of sweet citrus kiss your tongue and tickle your brain. Super thick and creamy. Loaded with sweet strawberries and cream.

(Now strawberries I'm not so sure about... either way, it was delicious.)

If you live in the valley, go to Village Coffee Roastery in north Scottsdale and pick some up! If not, check out the websites below where you can order beans from the 2009 harvest. Maybe not the world's best coffee... but still pretty tasty.


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