Brian Beyke

Kuma Coffee - Aramo Woreda Ethiopia

Brian Beyke

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It’s both sad and a bit humorous to me, but when I first started this coffee journey I felt like I was ordering Kuma Coffee every other week.  In fact, one of the first entries on here happened to be their banging Gaturiri Kenya.  However, as it is, in my exploring of regions and roasters around I’ve not landed back at Kuma’s door in some time.  I’m not sure if that is because selections weren’t quite piquing my interest or what, but I know I always come back around this time of year for delicious, delicious Ethiopian coffees.  I was fortunate to have their last crop of Borboya in a Craft box recently, and even had a cup of their new crop Borboya while they were featured at my local shop last month.  The dangerous part was when I got an Aramo Woreda iced to go… and didn’t pick up a bag to go with it.  I thought about this coffee the entire weekend and as soon as I had a free moment the following Monday morning, I drove back up to get it.  Let’s get into some more fresh crop Ethiopia with Aramo Woreda.

 

Details:

Roaster: Kuma Coffee

Region: Aramo Woreda, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia

Farm: 800 Small Land Owners

Process: Washed

Varietal: Heirloom

Elevation: 1,800-2,000m

 

Brew Method:

Gino Dripper | 30g © to 465g (w) | 3:00 total time | 198 degrees | 1.32 TDS | 18.85% Ext.

I hear that the Borboya and Aramo were quite different tasting despite slightly similar notes and boy is that no lie.  

Right off the bat you have mixed berry aromas flying off the top of the cup. 

Immediately diving in you find an insatiable berry juiciness that is almost like a natural processed… but then it quickly retracts back like the Witch of the Wicked West’s shoes after Dorothy’s house lands on her with a quicker pineapple meets lemon acidity, apricot sweetness among mango led tropical fruits.  

The more I let it settle the more peach sweetness comes out, in a moderately deep yet lighter swimming tropical fruit note sea.  This body is so remarkably juicy, different from your classic Yirgacheffe… but not at the same time.   Lingering floral notes also meet some spongy fruit notes that hang around like gummy bears.  Slight, slight whiffs of chocolate in the finish.  

As the cup cools further you notice further growing notes of bergamot reside in the cup and an underling strand of grapefruit but all of this, covered with a dense tropical and stone fruit complexity: blackberry jam, passion fruit, mango, guava, nectarine, apricot, peach tea, jasmine, jasmine, jasmine.  

The final sips bring you back slightly to that classic Yirgacheffe mindspace. Bright acidity, sweet fruitied tea-like body, and lingering floral infused sweetness.   

 

Deep juiciness, floral, complex fruit.

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Brew Method:

Kalita Kantan | 14g © to 250g (w) | 4:15 total time | 199 degrees | 1.37 TDS | 22.93% Ext.

I forgot my v60 filters so I had to use this in a Kantan. I thought it would be similar but I forgot the Kantan drips significantly slower than the v60, hence the large time difference. I increased water in case the grounds were extracting too much.

Heavily floral aromas in the cup - playful and inviting.

The cup is pretty different than in the Gino. It isn’t as juicy, which can be a good thing.  It carries little to no natural-like tendencies and instead this method is much more classic.  Balanced sweetness and acidity, squeezes of tropical and stone fruit sweetness in the middle with gentle floral sweeps in the back, with a lingering citrus note. 

Digging in this one gives me fun fruit forward pops of kiwi and passion fruit mixed with fresh flowers before a peachy sweetness fills out the middle, before orange citrus zestfully fills the palate.  It’s getting more juicy too, a bit similar to the Gino but not as pronounced.  

Mixed stone fruits and tropical fruits, (peach, nectarine, apricot, plum, pineapple, lychee, papaya, passion fruit, mango) drizzled in honey, delicately staged on a bed of florals. Earl grey begins to fill out the end of the cup with a breathy lingering that’s haunting and poetic.  

 

Zest, mixed fruits, delicate florals.

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Brew Method:

Chemex | 30g © to 480g (w) | 3:35 total time | 200 degrees | 1.21 TDS | 17.75% Ext.

Soft and pleasing citrus and tropical aroma.  

Really un-impressive start.  Not sure what I’ve done wrong.  Same steps as I usually use (except higher starting temp) but lacking in much development at all.

After a few minutes, some taste emerges.  Drifts of floral notes, a low lying grapefruit note sits with tickling pineapple juice and peachy sweetness.  

Okay, this is actually really pleasing now.  Soft and silky, lingering finish, loads of complex tropical and stone fruits with melon and grape-like candy sweetness added to the mix.  Honey notes begins to drip out as well along with a more juicy mango.  

 In the final sips you find deliciously clean and lightly crisp/sparkling fruit notes with the likes of grape, pear, peach, apricot, subtle cherry, passion fruit, mango, and cantaloupe with a lingering floral kissed lemon-tea finish.  Balanced, complex, sweet and silky.

 

Silky, complex tropical and stone fruits, lingering finish.

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Brew Method:

V60 no stir | 14g © to 227g (w) | 2:05 total time | 197 degrees | 1.36 TDS | 20.38% Ext.

Breaking the bloom is wonderful: tropical notes, lemongrass.

The nose, too, is complex and inviting with honeysuckle, tropical fruits, warm honey. 

Immediately greeted to the cup with a buttery-like body, softly dense complexity right away and rich in flavor.  Lychee, mango, jasmine, apricot, bergamot, a honey coated center and softly whipped chocolate in the rear.  There are ever so slightly tart notes of raspberry and cranberry on the tip too, a sweet lemon acidity and a finish sweet like Applejacks.   

Digging further the front end gets a bit more crisp with kiwi, pear, and passion fruit arriving early and apricot and peach nectars staying late.  Again with the notes of fresh flowers, that flutter around each and ever sip and stroll through the lingering corridors.  Grape candy arrives now, along with a nice cut of cantaloupe, juices dripping down your chin as you bite into it’s sweetness.

The cup is harmonious, clean, comfortably plump in body but silky in it’s flow, sweet and lingering.  Swishing around sips in your mouth might find you moments of cherry limeade, peach marmalade, or earl grey tea amidst gesha-like softness, sweetness, and complexity of fruit notes with the finish still leaving drifts of chocolate before desirable floral and tropical lingerings.

 

Buttery, overflowing juiciness, lingering florals.

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Brew Method:

Aeropress (Inverted) | 17g © to 255g (w) | 2:00 then plunge by 2:30 total time | 200 degrees | 1.39 TDS | 22.03% Ext. (Immersion mode)

A lot more tea-like off the bat.  Rich body, moreso than other methods which isn’t exactly a highlight to me with this profile.  The initial flavor I find is similar to a chocolate croissant.  I shall let this sit a bit.  

Coming back to the cup I notice a bit more sweetness.  Apricot, specifically, with some soft sweeps of sweet lemon.  Mmm.  Almost like lemon icing, now that isn’t too shabby.  The mouthfeel is coating, but the body still sits at a medium.  It begins to drip out sweet fruit notes as if wringing out a sponge.  Drip by drip you find pops of flavor.  Drip- peach.  Drip- grape. Drip- lavender. Drip- sweet honeydew.  Those drips seem to come faster the more you dig in now, with new flavors being introduce, specifically cherry sweetness a lot in this make here.  

 I’m not sure what the exact change was between the previous paragraph and this, all I do know is the cup is about 100 degrees and the sips I now find are significantly more sweet and lingering than all the ones prior. There was a big shift in it’s presentation, now with these richly sweet and incredibly long finishes.  A bit less focus is on the richness of the body, and moreso some syrupy swishes around and around.  It still has a orange/lemon rindy sort of acidity and tartness intro, rich but sweet fruit notes (apricot, raspberry, apple, pear, passionfruit, mango most notable) in the center, and cocoa power in the rear of the cup ultimately ending a bit more like a rich and sweet tea.

 

Dense fruit sweetness, lingering.

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Brew Method:

Espresso | Crossland CC1 | Bottomless double basket | 18g in | 47g out | 0:26 total time | 203 degrees | 7.2 TDS | 19.57% Ext.

Raspberry and peach limeade open up to florals, honey dipped everything.  Lingering, balanced, absolutely gorgeous.  Lychee, mango, and passion fruit ganache lingering.

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Brew Method:

Able Kone | 30g © to 435g (w) | 3:15 total time | 197 degrees | 1.28 TDS | 19.62% Ext.  (Immersion mode) (preferred method)

Tropical fruits and florals are immensely strong in this brew - right off the bat.  Pretty unique cup compared to all the rest, honestly.  Really sweet kiwi and lime note leads the way, immensely surprising and overly enjoyable.  Honestly, this doesn’t even taste like coffee at all, but pure juice with pineapple, kiwi, lychee, apple, peach, apricot fruits.

Diving a bit further you do find a more nectarine and peach body, with  tooooooooooooons of florals and honey caramel chocolate drifts in the finish.  This is out of control good.  Mango and passion fruit sweetness rides out like on a motorboat.  A bit sparkling on the top and it has some of the richness to the notes that I found in the aeropress, but it presents them so much better. Reminds me a bit of Ethiopia Kemgin or Acatenango Gesha I had from last year that I was loving.  The notes just sweeten as the cup cools but never stray from the main notes of passion fruit, kiwi, lime and floral.

 

Tropical, lime, floral, lingering.

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Where the Borboya is clean, bright, and refreshing- a classic yirgacheffe profile if you will, this Aramo Woreda is the ‘amp turned up to 11’ of that.  There are moments of intensity that started to make me think of a natural processed profile, but the sweetness and lingering floral is right at home to a typical washed yirgacheffe profile with an immensely juicy body.  Do not get confused though reader, this offering is exceptional, and so much more than a “typical washed yirgacheffe profile.”

Flavorful, dynamic, tons of sweetness with the complexity of a gesha.  It isn’t that you can’t find the individual notes, it’s that you don’t want to.  It’s incredibly difficult to pull yourself away from each sip of this coffee. The further you get in the cup the less you want it to end, and before you know it, you just enjoyed one of the best cups of coffee you’ll ever have.  Mark at Kuma Coffee has a way to bring out some of the most pristine flavors in coffees, and this offering is a perfect example of that.  This coffee literally offers you everything in terms of sweetness, fruit notes, body, aromatics, and a lingering finish.  This is sure to impress, and more than likely leave you completely mesmerized and dumbfounded.  


I am discovering some really neat things about Yirgacheffe offerings, but to get the whole puzzle you’ll have to stay tuned to some of the continuing reviews I’ll be posting.  

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.