Brian Beyke

Supersonic Coffee Co. - Chelelectu, Ethiopia

Brian Beyke

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Ruby’s Chelelektu really opened my eyes to what an exceptionally sourced and processed washed Ethiopian can taste like.  When PERC’s Chelelektu arrived at my door I was able to experience that yet again.  While nearly every washed Ethiopian coffee that has been brewed here this year has been stellar, this particular region is a bit special to me.  When I opened my package from Supersonic Coffee and saw that my second bag (another washed Ethiopian) was also from Chelelectu, I didn’t know what to expect.  I was a bit nervous at first that I’d hyped it up too much from all the buzz going around, and hadn’t had any experience of what a coffee sourced from Nordic Approach would be like, or if it had any difference.  All that was left was to dig into it and find out.  Here’s Chelelectu, Ethiopia.  



There’s no doubt that the coffee retail landscape is going through big changes right now, flooded with new financial backers, new interest, and new brands setting their sights on the high-end coffee market. The flipside of that influx of interest is the rise of the career coffee retail professional, and Supersonic is an interesting reflection of how these two trends can collide here in 2014: a well regarded industry veteran has been given serious financial backing and a mandate to gather a supergroup of other coffee pros together, emerging from the huddle with big plans that could seriously shake up their market.  Supersonic is shaping up to be one of the most ambitious new coffee companies of 2014. - Spruge

 

This coffee is composed of several small lots around the town of Chelelectu in the Kochere Woreda of Yirgacheffe, which is one of 77 woredas in the Southern Nations, Nationalties, and Peoples Region of Ethiopia.  Kochere is part of the Gedeo Zone and is bordered East, South and West by the Oromia Region and on the North by Yirgacheffe.  The Kochere micro-region has long been known as one of the best origins for fully washed southern Ethiopian coffee. The combination of very high altitude and iron-rich, acidic soil creates the ideal growing situation to produce the bright, floral Yirgacheffe profile.

 

Details:

Roaster: Supersonic Coffee Co.

Region: Chelelectu, Kochere, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia

Producer: 700 Smallholders

Process: Washed

Varietal: Ethiopian Heirloom

Elevation: 1,850 - 2,000m

 

Brew Method:

Chemex | 36g © to 540g (w) | 5:00 total time | 208 degrees | 1.35 TDS | 18.55% Ext.

Softer approach to the cup for this new method, will definitely want to dial this in for next cup.

Either way- nice soft approach, deliciously sweet aromatics of floral and berry notes that fully transcend in the cup.

Initial sips are sweet- playful, yet whimsical at the same time.  I’m getting a bit more cream flavor in the back end, and a bit more flowery and gardeny silkiness in the middle, complimenting it’s softly berry and lemon front.  Honey green tea sort of resides in the sips as it opens now, lightly buttery but guaranteed tropical and silky in mouthfeel.  It really seems to splash to all corners of the mouth, quite beautiful and refreshing at the same time.

Halfway into the cup I really take note of the fruits- a very comfortably sweet raspberry note along with cranberry, strawberries and cream candies, apricot, peach, passion fruit, lychee, as well as rose and lavender. 

They grow a bit more candy sweet as it cools, more present in the cup, but also adds in this interesting flavor like soda water in the end.  It doesn’t quite give an effervescent mouthfeel, but adds in that flavor along with lemon and lime to brighten up the front end.

I don’t think I’ve made mention yet, but the cup is incredibly clean and clear, and under control for that matter.  It carries that same underlying complexity that I’ve mentioned in both Ruby and PERC’s roast, that flower, herbal entanglement what-have-you, with not a hard hitting but a lingering note of clove in the lasting finish.  This is such a welcomed coffee back in my possession, really reminds me why it has been such a favorite cup time and time again.

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Brew Method:

Aeropress (Inverted) | 17g © to 240g (w) | 2:00 then plunge by 2:30 total time | 200 degrees | 1.41 TDS | 21.05% Ext. (Immersion mode)

Nose of warm salted caramel and light florals, soft berry.

The cup is incredibly soft and delicate. Not much is going on in the cup, honestly.  This one is probably best savored, so we will take it slowly.

Slowly you get a dense berry and honey sweetness drip out of the cup and onto the tongue.  Tiny notes of caramel, nougat, chocolate, and cream rise from around the center and waft around the mouth space.

The aroma continues to impress.  Still caramel and floral and fruity, but so tantalizing, so comforting.

About 110 degrees it opens, but ever so softly. It is so clean, so clear, with these light pops of apricot and peach fruits, delicate raspberry candy sweetness, a growing complexity of floral brushes on the sides of the mouth and tongue, and this thin stream of caramel slowly riding down the back of the throat. So elegant, so reserved, but quite enjoyable to slow down with.  It’s a more mellow cup than the previous method, and especially the other Chelelectu’s I’ve had this year.

However, it really starts to more rapidly shift. The fruit notes get a bit more splashy, more vibrant, more fruit sweetness emerges with mango, passion fruit, and kiwi joining the club, a bit more candy sweet and flavor saturated with a growing honey-floral-tea-like finish and lingering notes that are a bit more lasting.  It’s incredibly balanced, comfortable acidity, perfect sweetness of fruits and caramel/honey body, a little bit juicy and splashy then a little bit creamy and silky.  The florals are a bit more sweeping and all around a more alive experience by the time it’s over.

I would have loved for more of this stage in the cup, so if it seems soft at first, don’t hesitate to let it cool for awhile so you can fully enjoy.

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Brew Method:

Kalita Wave | 34g © to 552g (w) | 3:50 total time | 204 degrees | 1.36 TDS | 20.45% Ext. (preferred method)

Warm, inviting, sweet aroma.  Florals, citrus, tropical fruit.

First sips are wonderfully balanced.  Floral and complexly herbal forward, with cherry Twizzlers, raspberry syrup, and chocolate mousse following. Really lively, delicate but brimming with flavor.  Rose is very prominent on the front, quite captivating.

It is insanely clean, very clear sip after growingly sweet sip.  It carries such a luscious but comfortable nectar of apricot, raspberry, peach, and mango with these bright but quiet citrus nods of lemon and lime.  Cooling further you find strands of caramel run down the center of your tongue, and even watermelon and grape-like sweetness begins to emerge from the cup, juicy and succulent.

The coolest moments are the most delicate, most poetic, with those herbal complexities taking a really pleasing showcase alongside these calming florals.  Still has crisp bursts of berry on the front of the sips, and a silky and lingering finish.

Quite special.

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Brew Method:

V60 no stir | 14g © to 227g (w) | 2:15 total time | 200 degrees | 1.37 TDS | 20.55% Ext.

Incredibly aromatic. Tropical, floral, luscious.

Easily notice the clear differences.  This is very rose and jasmine fronted, delicate, clean, herbal and floral with tropical lychee and peach lingering.  Gosh, I love this.

Raspberry, passion fruit and peach and the cleanest fruits and florals and herbally tea ever. Lingering, sweet, delicate and balanced.  Elements of caramel growing out as well as lemon green tea.  

Cools and still keeps berry lead acidity, sweet lemon and lime, and sweet caramel florals in the finish.

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I’ve gone back and forth a lot about this.  I’ve had a lot of washed Ethiopian coffees in, especially here on the blog, over the last several months.  I feel like it’s been a continuous improvement cup to cup, bag to bag.  I keep trying to think whether this coffee compared to a lot of other comparable ones I’ve had this year and I think I can safely say this either now is or is tied for my favorite washed Ethiopian offering I’ve had this year.  It’s hard to exactly say that, as some have a more buttery body, some sweeter, some more floral, and all of them are incredible.  We are talking very fine differences here, but Supersonic’s Chelelectu had some details that made it stand out to me.  The main difference here is the cup’s clarity.  This was one of the cleanest coffees I’ve ever had, and in that also had no sacrifice of flavor.  It is truly an exceptional and special coffee to me, and definitely offered prestine detail over, say, the other two Chelelektu offerings I’ve had this year, while still packing the same delicacy, fruit saturation, floral and herbal entangling, and lingering sweetness.  


One of the most memorable coffees I’ve ever had.  

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.