Origin: Sidama, Ethiopia
Producer: Bensa Small-holders
Ethiopian Naturals can be some of the brightest, fruitiest coffees around, and we're happy to report that this lot fits well into that camp. Shantawene was grown by small-holders in the town of Shantawene and the surrounding Bensa district. The cherries were hand-sorted, then sun-dried on raised beds for 18 days. This is a bit more complicated than it sounds, as the cherries need to be raked regularly to promote even moisture content and covered during the hottest part of the day to protect them from over-drying. While it's a bit less water-intensive, the natural process still requires attention and expertise to produce great coffees - thankfully the folks at Testi Coffee are veteran experts in the Ethiopian coffee community, and their Shantawene washing station regularly processes incredible lots.
The flavors in this cup are bold and sweet - we're getting juicy strawberry tones right off the bat, with a nice creamy milk chocolate flavor and even a hint of lighter, marshmallow sweetness. Reminds us of one of those delicious strawberry truffles that comes in a holiday box of chocolates. This is definitely a coffee for folks with a sweet tooth, or for anyone who's looking for something unique to brighten up the winter months. Shantawene is a recent favorite at the MCC headquarters, and after giving it a brew, we think you'll see why.