Coffee Name: Rockaffe Ethiopia Yirgacheffe
Country: Ethiopia
Roaster: Rockaffe
Roast Date: Aug 5, 2019
Brew Date: Aug 6, 2019

Vitaliy Shakirov, the owner of the family-owned and operated a coffee shop, Buy the Cup, in Rocky Hill, has expanded his business operations by launching an online coffee store that offers his speciality roasts to the wholesale and retail coffee marketplace. My family and his family have known each other since he opened his shop doors over ten years ago. Buy the Cup is my favourite place for fresh-brewed African coffee and roasted beans, and a pork roll sandwich. It's a place to sit outside on a Saturday morning and politely chat about local politics with the regulars. The store is unassuming, but I'll sometimes see Lexus' and Mercedes-Benzs parked on the street along with Honda Civics and Toyota Camrys, while customers get their fresh roasted beans and pork roll.

Our story begins ten years ago when we opened our family-owned and operated coffee shop Buy the Cup in the quaint town of Rocky Hill, New Jersey. During our humble beginnings, we offered a small variety of beans and served a mere fifty cups per day. A very loyal following developed from our neighbours in Rocky Hill and the surrounding towns, and we quickly expanded to serve many more coffee varieties and different flavour options. Seven years later we grew into a full service “grab and go” cafe serving coffee from many countries around the world, a multitude of different flavours, light and dark blends, and a full espresso line. Over the years, we have crafted numerous blends and roasting profiles, which have become very popular with our loyal customer base. We continue to fine-tune our roasting skills to further our product development, all the while keeping our standards for our products and service very high.

I am excited for Vitaliy, and I expect he'll do well.

On Monday, Vitaliy contacted me about a new Ethiopia Yirgacheffe light roast for pour-overs that he had created. He wanted my feedback on the coffee using my brewing methods. I brew pour-overs every day using a Chemex with either an able Kone filter, Chemex paper filters, or Ebb cloth filter. For this batch of Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, the day after Vitality roasted the coffee, I brewed freshly ground beans in my Chemex with all three types of filters. I think the Ebb filter produced the best pour-over cup with this coffee.

With Ethiopian coffees, pronounced floral notes are expected, notes that most Americans will bury under a blanket of creamer and sugar. I drink my coffee black. This Ethiopia Yirgacheffe coffee had a fresh aromatic wood note suggesting fresh-cut grass with an earthy nut-toned chocolaty taste which I enjoyed. My taste buds kept yelling, “cocoa.” I enjoyed this coffee, and I hope to drink this regularly.

In March of 2018, the ebb Kickstarter campaign raised $18K to develop and manufacture the ebb Coffee Filter, a cloth based coffee filter made specifically for pourover coffee brewing.

I received my ebb Coffee Filter several months later, on September 28th, 2018. This is probably the first Kickstarter I have backed that has delivered on expectations on time and in the same year that the campaign was launched. Thank you, ebb!!

The version of the filter I received was designed for use with Chemex coffee brewers. The campaign created versions for other types of pour-overs but Chemex is the type I use.

The filter arrived on Friday in a small envelope. The filter package itself was also compact holding the cloth filter, a postcard with ebb Brew Guide for Chemex and instructions for use, and a CLOTHESFORCOFFEE coupon for discounts. Brew guides for other brew methods can be found on the Brew Methods website.

The material feels soft but sturdy. I expect it will stand up to multiple brews and wash cycles. Before I could use the filter, the instructions recommend boiling the filter in water for five minutes. I assume this is to remove any impurities from the manufacturing process. Once complete, I put the filter to dry, ready to make coffee the next day.

For the Chemex I have two recipes; one for use with a traditional Chemex paper filter and one for use with an Able Kone filter. The paper filter produces a clean cup with very little particulate matter. However, even though they are biodegradable and clean up is easy, I was not happy tossing these paper filters into the garbage.

I purchased an Able Kone filter — another Kickstarter — a few years ago. The Able Kone filter is a reusable metal filter but it does not produce as clean a cup as the paper filters; there is a little silt at the bottom of the cup and suspended in the coffee. I’m not certain but I assume the ebb cloth filter will produce a cleaner cup than both the paper filter and mesh filter.

ebb Coffee Filter—FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 36.5 mm, f/2.8

I use the Press coffee app when making my daily brew. Over time, and with experimentation, I have created recipes for making coffee via Chemex, French Press and AeroPress. I have included a link to my initial brew recipe for the cloth filter. It’s the same as my paper filter recipe but with the grind adjusted to 21 instead of 16. I expect I’ll tweak this to find the right balance between grind and brew time.

UPDATE: My brew recipe for the Ebb filter for use with the Press coffee app.

ebb Coffee Filter—FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 51.6 mm, f/2.8

I always brew with the freshest beans I can find. I have been a member of a number of online coffee delivery clubs in the past but in the last few years, I have settled on obtaining fresh beans from a local brewer. I enjoyed trying different single original coffees from around the world but I wanted to support my local brewer whom I know personally.

ebb Coffee Filter—FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 55 mm, f/2.8

I started with 45g of fresh ground beans. I use a scale to weigh the coffee and I use a Baratza Encore coffee grinder which I bought a few years ago. In a kettle, I heat water to between 91ºC (195ºF) and 96ºC (205ºF).

ebb Coffee Filter—FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 55 mm, f/2.8

Before putting the ground coffee into the filter, I poured some of the hot water through the filter to wet the filter and warm the Chemex.

ebb Coffee Filter—FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 55 mm, f/2.8

After putting the coffee into the filter, I reset my scale, I start the Press app timer and start pouring water; about twice the weight of the ground coffee. After 45 seconds, I continue pouring water in slow circular motion, making sure to saturate the grounds.

ebb Coffee Filter—FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 55 mm, f/2.8

Ideally, the water should stop flowing through the grounds when the timer is complete.

ebb Coffee Filter—FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ 41.4 mm, f/2.8

I dumped the grounds into the trash and washed out my filter. It was stained by the coffee grounds and I expect this to darken with use.

The coffee was delicious with no hint of sediment. A clean cup.