When Dillano’s started roasting on a small 20-pound coffee roaster, two things were immediately apparent: roasting excellent coffee takes unwavering commitment, and it takes more than great coffee for retailers to thrive in a competitive business environment. So, they immersed themselves in the specialty coffee industry, learning how to source the best coffees from around the globe and meticulously roast them to their full potential. They also created an internal culture that valued fun, creativity, and integrity, seeking employees who believed in the culture as much as they did. They focused their energies on building meaningful, rewarding customer relationships, striving to give their customers more than they expected. As They near their 20th anniversary, They are proud to say that they still live by these same values every day. As the Mistomobile makes its final stop through the renown coffee mecca of Washington, they pop into Sumner, Washington where we visit Dillano’s Ethiopia Gedeo.
If you don’t already know, the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange was set up in an effort to help bring single farm lots to a market where they were rewarded for overall cup quality. The coffee is graded by employees at ECX, and while ranking coffee by overall quality is an effective means of determining price (in the past, origin as much the price determiner as quality - “Yirga Cheffe”, “Sidama”, etc), it’s been taken to such an extreme where provenance is stripped altogether. So then we’re stuck with amazing coffee (not a bad thing) and no real way of knowing where it came from. It’s frustrating, and makes repeatability non-existent. But, we’re fortunate to have plenty of Ethiopian coffee that comes straight from Cooperatives, which are exempt from ECX regulations, and who we work with year after year. So picking up one or two lots based purely on quality makes sense.
Roaster: Dillano’s Coffee Roasters
Region: Gedeo Zone, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
Producers: Various Small Producers
Process: Fully Washed
Varietal: Ethiopian Heirloom
Elevation: 1,800 - 2,000m
V60 no stir | 14g © to 227g (w) | 2:00 total time | 201 degrees | 1.32 TDS | 19.85% Ext.
Brewing aroma is a bit citrus and a bit spiced.
Nose is slightly fruited.
Initially diving in is a darker body than I’m used to with Ethiopians. There is a lightly syrupy coating in the finish where some sweetness lies, but getting there it takes you through notes of roasted nuts, roasted cocoa, smoke, and just a more savory profile than one may expect.
Mid cup the aromas in the cup are delectable. Sweet, fruitied, floral…but diving back in to the cup it is a bit harder to find those notes. I don’t think I’d be lying if I said I found a bit of tropical, and I don’t think I’d be lying if I said there were floral notes in the finish…but honestly this cup isn’t letting go the more roasty profile. Layers of roasted nuts and smoke pretty much define this brew. It still has an orange-like citrus note in the cup, and a bit of a toasted marshmallow sweetness growing.
I’ll continue to let it sit and see what the end cup is.
In the coolest moments the cup becomes a lot more friendly to flavor. There is a nice buttery sweetness, tropical and floral both. While the roasted nuts linger around making it a bit hard to really decipher what the cup has to offer, if you let the cup sit long enough you’ll be able to notice some of the qualities of the coffee you came looking for.
Chemex | 30g © to 480g (w) | 3:25 total time | 200 degrees | 1.24 TDS | 18.35% Ext. (preferred method)
Tropical and floral brewing aroma. Citrus and berries as well. This coffee truly is one of the most aromatic coffees I’ve had.
Diving in is still smoky, but to be truthful you notice it right away, then comes this really sweet and sugary tropical notes, some herbal-tea notes with floral, then finishing with a bit of smokiness again, lower now.
I quite enjoy the cup for the most part, but this drinks more comfortably being sipped and kept more toward the center of the mouth. Taking big gulps just splashes all around the place and doesn’t leave an outstanding impression. If you take restricted enjoyment, you notice more of a silky meets juicy body, with mango being the main note you find. You’ll notice the lemon and bergamot brightening the cup ever so slightly, and flutters of floral dance on the sides of your tongue as each sip gracefully flows to the rear of the mouth, where the herbal spice do their complex little dance before drifting into a smoked chocolate finish.
This particular brew is about 3 weeks off, so I’m not sure if it is the clean chemex, the slightly lower extraction, or the age of the roast, but this presentation more than makes up for the lackluster run I had in the v60.
It is perfumy, incredibly aromatic, and it grows more silky in body, rich in flavor, and delicate in detection of it’s fruit flavors with the likes of passionfruit, apricot, mango dipped in a floral and buttercream icing finish before the slightly lingering spice returns.
Okay, so to be fully transparent, I didn’t love this coffee. If I stopped after the V60 make, I definitely would have written this coffee off. That being said, I didn’t. After the coffee got some rest and I visited it in the Chemex with the TDS being tamed a bit, the coffee actually gave me more of the notes that are a) my typical experience with other offerings from the region and b) were descriptive of what the bag noted.
The aromatics in the cup alone though are reason enough to give this a go. They were fully alive, sensual and pleasing, really, really high scoring. The cup itself, as noted above, is one that would do good maybe dosing it back a bit, or definitely waiting til it is a bit cooler to dive in, if you are looking for the full sweetness and profile it can offer. While not my favorite selection from this region, I was thankful we left on good terms.
Co-host of the I Brew My Own Coffee Podcast and always has all the chocolate. I also love to play board games. Yea, let's go do that right now.