Fans of dry-processed coffees from stations like Chele’lektu, Adado, and Aricha are bound to be keen on Fara Sala, a coffee that gets it’s name from the Amharic words for producing ripe fruits (as evidenced in the cup). We buy from a lot of the same stations year in and year out, but honestly, it’s a bit of a mystery which will be our favorite. But that’s Ethiopia, and this year Fara Sala is the coffee that’s captured our hearts. For dry-process coffee, it’s a brilliantly clean example with fruited notes well articulated, not dusty or mirky, and a much more pointed finish than you might expect from a natural. This particular lot is comprised of small farm lots within the village of Aramo, located in the highlands not far from Yirga Cheffe town. The altitude ranges from about 1900 – 2100 masl. The heirloom varietal coffee is naturally processed, sun dried on African raised beds, and prepared to Grade 1 specifications. Dry-processed coffees have quite a bit of silver skin still intact, and therefore show a darker shade when roasting (not to mention produce a lot of chaff as well). It helps to pay close attention to when the first snaps occur, and rely on time as well as physical shade to judge roast development.
From fragrance to cup Fara Sala is perfumed with layers of fresh and dried fruits, from berry to stone fruit, as well as tropical and floral. The dry fragrance has a strong presence of red berry, like blackberry pie filling, and a floral fruit smell that reminds me of passion fruit. Our Full City roast offered surface smells of Dutch cocoa powder, with cooked fruit smells underneath. The wet aroma of both our light and dark roasts echoed the smells of fruits cooked in sugar, both also releasing jasmine florals in the steam when breaking through the crust. When hot, there is an undeniable floral note reminiscent of coffees from the region. It has such great sweetness which in lighter roasting culminates in flavors of sugar browning in butter, loads of pectin sweetness, and baking spice elements rounding out the finish. Fruits multiply as the cup cools in temperature, berry most notable when hot, but giving way to apricot, lychee, mango nectar, and tamarind candy. Full City roasts are quite syrupy, cocoa butter and bittersweet chocolate flavors, blueberry syrupy, and aromatic wood hints. If you’re a fan of wild espresso, this one won’t disappoint. Shots of Full City are heavily weighted in chocolate and fruit notes, sweet to tart berries, chocolate covered .