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Thread: Ethiopian Sidamo Mount Bensa

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Ethiopian Sidamo Mount Bensa

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    These are just preliminary observations 3 days after roasting.

    First the beans. These are most unusual for an Ethiopian being both unusually uniform and unusually small - almost peaberry size. However unlike peaberrys which are commonly almost spherical, these beans are the traditional coffee bean "cowrie shell" shape. Behmor owners may find these tiny beans problematic.

    I roasted these beans using my normal schedule for small beans, that is to say 10C lower than normal. I stopped after the difficult-to-hear first crack had completed and before second crack had started. The roast was remarkably uniform across beans though the beans themselves were somewhat splotchy which is quite common for naturals roasted in a Gene Cafe.

    I made a couple of flat whites today just 3 days after roasting and was most impressed with the potential. The taste is classic mocha overlaid with wine, spice and a lemony acidity. It reminds me very much of the 2013 Sidamo offered in Bean Bay, one of my all time favourites and nothing like the bland 2014 BeanBay Sidamo.

    I'll give it a few more days and post again but at this stage I've tasted enough to say this one is definitely in the top league for my milk-coffee drinker palate. Behmor owners may need to take account the small bean size and high chaff roast.
    Dimal and neofelis like this.

  2. #2
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    Great review!

  3. #3
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    It's now 8 days since roasting these beans so here's an update.

    As expected the tastes have intensified considerably since I tasted this coffee 3 days after roast. There are also some new flavours notably cinnamon and a tarry-tobacco element. Overall a very enjoyable cup though I must confess this one of those coffees that leaves a taste in your mouth that makes you feel like drinking a glass of cold water afterwards. That's not necessarily an negative just a attribute. Or as they say in the computer industry "It's not a bug it's a feature."

    How does this compare to the other excellent Ethiopian currently available from Bean Bay, the Biftu Gesha Sundried?

    Well the Biftu is spicier and not as intense as the Mount Bensa. It is also more complex and layered. Using a wine analogy I'd say the Biftu could be compared to a Rhone blend (Grenache, Shiraz, Mouvedre) while the Mount Bensa would be more like a big Shiraz. Which is the better? Well I drink both those wines and I enjoy drinking both these coffees. Vive la différence.

  4. #4
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccgnome View Post
    … and a tarry-tobacco element … one of those coffees that leaves a taste in your mouth that makes you feel like drinking a glass of cold water afterwards …
    Hi ccgnome
    How are you roasting in the Gene? I haven't tried the Bensa (but a number of other Sidamos) but some of those tasting notes make me wonder if there is more you could get out of the bean? Tarry tabacco sounds like it might be a little overcooked…?

    Cheers Matt

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    Hi ccgnome
    How are you roasting in the Gene? I haven't tried the Bensa (but a number of other Sidamos) but some of those tasting notes make me wonder if there is more you could get out of the bean? Tarry tabacco sounds like it might be a little overcooked…?

    Cheers Matt
    I understand where you are coming from Matt but these beans were a little underdone if anything. They were stopped pretty well immediately after first crack had completed. The colour of the ground beans was near ideal for my tastes, if anything a tad paler than the Biftu roast.

    I abhor dark roasted coffee and know that roast characteristic well - I've been roasting for over 10 years so this is something burnt into my brain through bitter experience. No, when I say this bean has a tarry tobacco taste component I'm talking something quite different, more a subtle hint rather than the in-you-face burnt characteristic of dark roasts.

    Mind you my Italian friends love that burnt characteristic and I respect that. It's just a case of different strokes for different folks or perhaps more appropriately, different beans for different scenes
    DesigningByCoffee likes this.



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