Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee

by Ann on April 16, 2009

Did you know that coffee is reviewed like wine with points?  Yes, it’s true!  In 1997, these two guys, Kenneth Davids and Ron Walters, got together and decided that coffee should be reviewed much like wine on the 50 to 100 point scale.  Genius!   These guys recognized us coffee conniseurs and with distinguished coffee taste buds, they rated all kinds of coffee for us to try!   They call it, Coffee Review.

As much as I love wine, and can pick out a quality sip from a crappy sip most anytime, I have no idea what these people are talking about when they taste tobacco, prunes, pineapples, cherries, tar, whatever it is that hits their tastebuds when they try it.  I just get the overall effect of the wine with the first sip to the way the finish hits my tastebuds.  Whether or not it’s bitter, smooth, spicy, what have you.  It’s very similar with coffee.  Maybe it’s in sommelier school where they make you eat and smell tar, tobacco, wood and cherries and then taste it in the wine so you get it right?  Maybe I’ll play around with that in the future.  To be continued… 

I want to share with you one of my favorite coffees out there: Green Mountain Roaster’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.  It is Fair Trade Certified, which basically means that the farmers involved in making the coffee are guaranteed to be treated fairly regarding pricing, labor conditions, allowing these farmers potential financial  freedom and business independence.  Also, being Fair Trade Certified means they must use sustainable, healthy methods of farming, rather than using harsh chemicals.  There’s plenty more to it if you’d like to read about it here.  This coffee is also organic!  Again, you’re missing out on the possible harsh chemicals and pesticides in your daily cup.  Even if you’re not on the organic bandwagon, it’s okay to buy it sometimes.  It’s better for you body and you don’t have to tell your friends.  I’ll keep your secret.  (I just don’t know why some people are too cool for organics still?  Other than price…I get that!) 

Anyway, I will share with you the Coffee Review on the Green Mountain Roaster’s Organic Fair Trade Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee: 

Overall Rating: 93 points

Aroma: 8
Acidity: 8
Body: 7
Flavor: 8
Aftertaste: 8
Roast (Agtron): Medium (52/65)

Origin: Yirgacheffe growing region, Sidamo Province, southern Ethiopia.Notes: Certified organically grown and Fair Trade, meaning it was purchased from small-holding farmers at a “fair” or economically sustainable price. Green Mountain is one of the country’s leading specialty roasters, offering a particularly wide-ranging variety of origins and roast styles. Visit or call 800-223-6768 for more information.Blind Assessment: This coffee declares its essential Yirgacheffe character immediately: perfumy and pungently menthol-toned in the aroma, shimmering with floral and lemon notes. The aromatic drama carries without loss or simplification into a gently bright cup, light-bodied but silky in mouthfeel. The finish is thinnish but long, sweet, and flower-saturated.Who should drink it: For those who know coffee, an archetypally floral-toned Yirgacheffe. For those who don’t, buy it if you enjoy Rieslings and intense but delicate floral-toned whites. Impeccable social and environmental credentials.


I do not get the menthol flavor or scent thankfully, because that may ruin it for me.    It’s interesting that the reviewer suggests if you like Rieslings you will like this coffee, because I much prefer Pinot Grigio to Riesling. Simply, I just think it’s a wonderfully smooth cup of coffee, roasted nicely, not bitter, and it really does have a slightly floral, lemony scent before sipping.  Slight.  Hey, 93 points out of 100 is pretty darn good!

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