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The natural Ethiopian coffees are back! We’re very excited to have another great offering from our friends at Testi Coffee.
Among coffee-producing countries, Ethiopia holds near-legendary status not only because it’s the “birthplace” of Arabica coffee, but also because it is simply unlike every other place in the coffee world. Unlike the vast majority of coffee-growing countries, the plant was not introduced as a cash crop through colonization. Instead, growing, processing, and drinking coffee is part of the everyday way of life, and has been for centuries, since the trees were discovered growing wild in forests and eventually cultivated for household use and commercial sale.
The profile of Ethiopian coffees varies based on a number of factors, including variety, process, and microregion. As a general rule of thumb, natural processed coffees will have much more pronounced fruit and deep chocolate tones, often with a bit of a winey characteristic and a syrupy body. Washed coffees will be lighter and have more pronounced acidity, though the individual characteristics will vary. If you know natural coffees from Ethiopia, then you’ve probably heard the word ‘Werka’. A small town in the Nansebo district of Oromia, this high-altitude region of Ethiopia produces some of the best coffees available. As the altitude increases, the density of the coffee increases producing a more structured, balanced cup. The Testi Gara Kogne washing station was established in 2010 and serves about 850 smallholder producers in the area. The farmers deliver their cherries to the washing station, where the naturally processed coffees undergo an 8-hour soak and are dried on raised beds for 28 days.
Gara Kogne exhibits some of the quintessential flavors and attributes naturally processed Ethiopian coffees are known and loved for. Juicy is a word you hear a lot with coffee, and this coffee comes in strong in this category. Grape juice notes begin the tasting experience and add a nice body; nectarine and balanced acidity quickly follow to fill out the profile and finishes with the full sweetness of raw, unprocessed sugar. Le’tenachin!