There are numerous unambiguous flavor qualities which separate Amaro Gayo from the dozens of producing-regions located in southern Ethiopia. The word "Gayo", for instance, means "waterfall" in local Amaro language. And this describes perfectly the Nechisar National Park, one of Ethiopia's best preserved regions. This mountainous landscape is vegetated by thick bamboo forests and marked with dramatic terrain. Apart from being located within an ideal setting for coffee cultivation, Amaro Gayo happens to be one of the best preserved examples of what indigenous, untampered coffee production in Ethiopia looks like. With the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange processing ninety percent of the country's exported coffee, it is often difficult to identify a specific varietal, region, or producer through this operation. While the goal of this commodity exchange is to give opportunities to growers who otherwise would not have access to trade in foreign markets, it can sometimes miss incentives which give rise to sublime coffees.
But no means is greater than the dedication of Asnekech Thomas. Besides overseeing coffee-processing and ensuring production meets Specialty Coffee standards , Asnekech is also in control of many of the logistics behind Amaro Gayo's success. In an effort to revitalize local economy, the Ethiopian government granted Asnekech to establish her own mill and washing station. This allowed her to bypass the commodities exchange, meaning that her coffee is never substituted or blended with other regional producers. And since paved roads near Amaro Gayo are more than 100 miles away, Asnekech purchased her own trucks to provide that her coffees arrive in a timely manner.
If you consider Asnekech Thomas to be the architect of Amaro Gayo coffee, than Ninety Plus is a foundation in which it's built upon. This organization works with producers to provide cutting-edge technologies in cherry picking, sorting, and processing as well as marketing support. These factors help establish Amaro Gayo as one of the premiere growing regions in all Ethiopia. Most importantly, everything grown in Amaro Gayo is certified organic, enabling reinvestment into the land and longevity in the coffee shrubs.
Presumptuous aromas of strawberry and blueberries transition into bright black berry jam flavor. The Harrar-like character of these coffees is apparent in both profile and shape (elongated seeds) . Natural-processing of the cherries allows for diverse ranges in complexity to be presented, ranging from a melange of drupe-like fruits to the delicate finish of vanilla and maple. Pervading throughout the cup is a palpable impression of molasses.