Montana Coffee Traders
Ethiopian Hama Gold Yirgacheffe Natural
|Roaster Location:||Whitefish, Montana|
|Coffee Origin:||Yirgacheffe growing region, Sidamo Province, south-central Ethiopia|
|Review Date:||January 2006|
Blind Assessment: Intense aroma, very sweet in impression, with round blueberry, fresh leather and cedar notes. In the cup the roast turns the blueberry toward a rich chocolate, but also seems to develop an astringent edge to the cup. In the finish the lovely blueberry chocolate barely makes itself heard above the persistent astringency.
Notes: This coffee is organically grown and Fair Trade certified, meaning it was purchased from small-holding farmers at a "fair" or economically sustainable price. In fact, it sold for considerably more than the Fair-Trade minimum price, since it is the second-place prize winner in the recent auction of small-holder cooperative coffees from Ethiopia conducted by the ECAFE Foundation (www.ecafefoundation.org), attracting a score of 91.5 from an international panel of judges. It was purchased at Internet auction by a consortium of smaller American roasting companies that included Montana Coffee Traders. It is certified organically grown and certified Fair Trade, meaning it was purchased from small-holding farmers, in this case the farmers of the Hama (also Hamma) Cooperative. Unlike most Yirgacheffe coffees, this one is dry or naturally processed, meaning the beans or seeds were dried inside the coffee fruit rather than dried after the fruit residue was removed, as is the case with wet-processed or "washed" coffees. Montana Coffee Traders ("How You Bean, Man!") is a small-batch roaster located in high northwestern Montana, near Glacier Park. Visit
Who Should Drink It: Those who find astringency bracing and who want it in a distinguished and distinctive coffee.
This review originally appeared in the January, 2006 tasting report: Romance and Perfection: 2006 Readers' Choices