A Month With Four Barrel

 

The end of July and beginning of August has been mixed (good and bad), but Four Barrel Coffee made it all better. 

Back in June we were scrambling to get our roaster relationships solidified (more on that in a future blog post) and to my utter excitement and surprise - Four barrel called me and had some samples sent to me. I'll never forget talking on the phone to Skip Columbo (coolest name in the game) and geeking out over what we were doing here in fort worth and more importantly our commitment to quality coffee and coffee education- us and Four barrel were fast friends.

ethiopia - qorema

Honestly, I can say the same thing about this Ethiopian coffee - which I must add is one of my favorite coffee origins. Every coffee I have had from that region always has such a complexity and fruitiness - no matter the process it went through.

From the verdant Oromia region comes this selection of heirloom varieties, along with their white blossom fragrances and clean melon acidity.
— From the back of the bag.

At oddfolk we don't only want to tell you about how a coffee tastes or the best method to brew it with - we want you to know it's story from seed to cup. And I think there is no one better to tell the story than Four Barrel themselves.

the following is directly from their website, in regards to the coffee in question today. 

Source: FOUR BARREL COFFEE

Source: FOUR BARREL COFFEE

"The road between Bulga and Qorema forks just seven miles away. That said, the growers and harvesters who haul their cherry to Qorema tend to travel from a completely different mountain range. It practically borders Sidama, a growing region with its own characteristics. Maybe that’s why they taste so distinctive.
Clearly, Qorema has its own thing going on. Since day one—which was only five years ago—Qorema co-op members have focused on their relationship with water.
Source: FOUR BARREL COFFEE

Source: FOUR BARREL COFFEE

They knew that washing their own coffee would bring them greater quality control, and in turn the potential for greater profits. But they also knew that water wouldn’t be easy to come by in West Arsi. Together with the international nonprofit TechnoServe, they decided on a Penagos pulper & demucilager system to minimize water waste.
Source: FOUR BARREL COFFEE

Source: FOUR BARREL COFFEE

Qorema members couldn’t afford to waste any water, even if they wanted to. Their fresh water source is a river in the valley, and pumping that water up to the mill is a challenge. At the moment, the co-op pumps that water halfway up the incline into a little reservoir; then another pump relays it the rest of the way.
The families of Qorema put equal intention into their mill’s water disposal. It gets diverted from running down that same hill, and absorbed into a pit surrounded by vetiver swale.
Maybe it has nothing to do with either the water or the growing region. But for some reason, Qorema has its own bright, crystalline, and beautiful thing going on."

Those Qorema co-op Members seem like the kind of peeps us ODDFOLK should go hang out with. But, as you can tell this coffee, and many others go through so much to make it into your cup and most of the time those that do the hard work don't get the credit. That's where the whole term fair-trade comes in and honestly isn't used much anymore, mostly because coffee professionals at the roasting and cafe level - wanted to take it deeper than that term could go (that seems like a topic for another post though). Bottom line we want you to care about the entire process your coffee goes through.

What do we like about it?

Honestly, melon tasting notes aren't ever really promising for me. I'm not biggest fan of any type of melon. I pulled this coffee out of the box of 7 samples we got, saw the origin, and amazing art on the front and was elated - then looking at Four Barrel's offering guide and seeing the notes they got from it, I was a little discouraged.

If I have learned anything in my years of drinking coffee, watching a film, or having any opinion on anything - what someone else says isn't always the gospel truth. That was the case with this coffee. No melon came through - on any of the methods I put this through. 

  • Chemex - tea like in nature, subtle notes of white tea and peach.
  • V60 - similar to the chemex, with a little more body, and more acidity (That might have been slightly melony in nature).
  • Aeropress - Honey, Straight up honey with some sort of stone fruit.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to pull it on espresso - no access to a machine at this time - but I can only imagine what it would have been like.

In Conclusion...

BUY THIS DANG COFFEE!


I'm Ben, the crazy guy that started this crazy thing called ODDFOLK. My passion in life is to see creatives succeed through collaboration and community. Let's chat sometime!