Sacred Grounds Organic Coffee Roasters
Hamma Cooperative Yirgacheffe, Fair-Trade Organic
|Roaster Location:||Arcata, California|
|Coffee Origin:||Yirgacheffe growing region, south-central Ethiopia|
|Review Date:||January 2006|
Blind Assessment: The scent of blueberry fills the room simply in the act of grinding this explosively fragrant coffee. Blueberry continues richly to dominate the wet aroma, nuanced by hints of other low-acid fruit - peach perhaps, and chocolate. In the cup the fruit inclines more toward wine and a lush, minty chocolate, but the blueberry reasserts itself in the finish. Only in the long finish is there a hint of the serendipitous ferment responsible for much of this aromatic excitement. Probably as close to a perfect example of this coffee type as this imperfect world allows, tactfully roasted.
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 was 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 Sacred Grounds. 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. Sacred Grounds is dedicated to roasting organic, Fair Trade and shade-grown coffees. Visit
Who Should Drink It: Perfectionists with a taste for the exotic. Rounds beautifully in milk without losing power, but sugar may imbalance the naturally sweet cup.
This review originally appeared in the January, 2006 tasting report: Romance and Perfection: 2006 Readers' Choices