Release #4: Yabitu Koba 2018

A couple years back, Passenger featured a coffee from Yabitu Koba, a village in southern Ethiopia’s Guji Zone, for the first time. Given that a selection from Yabitu Koba’s 2019 harvest is being featured on the Reserve Lot menu currently, we decided to roast our final 10 lbs. of the 2018 this week, to provide the opportunity to taste two consecutive harvests from this extraordinary producing region side by side.

Each morning during the harvest season in Guji, roughly 720 smallholder farmers selectively pick and then delivery cherry to the Hana Asrat washing station near Yabitu Koba. The coffee is pulped in the afternoon and early evening. After pulping, the coffee is fermented for 24-48 hours, washed, and then soaked for an additional four hours before being dried on raised beds.

Guji coffees have the potential to express some of the most complex and interesting cup profiles we have ever experienced. This lot from 2018, which has some slight fruit character imparted by fermentation (though in a perfectly clean way), is even more complex than your average washed coffee from Guji. As soon as our green buying team tasted this coffee we knew that it had to be featured on our Reserve Lot menu and we couldn’t be more pleased to feature it again for one more lap of recognition as an archival release!

In the cup, Yabitu Koba offers an incredibly complex sensory experience. Milk chocolate, citrus, and a lightly oxidized oolong tea character can be found on the nose. The cup is wonderfully fruited yet perfectly clean with flavors of strawberry, watermelon, citrus, and a hop-like finish.

Freezer Fridays

The Freezer Friday archival release series provides a unique new opportunity to explore Passenger’s treasure trove of notable harvests from the past. As those familiar with our approach to green coffee preservation will already know, we have actively stored our green coffee in an off-site deep freeze facility since our start as a company, keeping the coffees that we purchase in pristine condition following arrival.

While the majority of Reserve Lot coffees that we buy sell out within months of their first appearance on our menu, we have, since our start in 2014, saved small volumes of many of our most extraordinary coffees for future enjoyment. 

Inspecting the harvest at Gesha Village Estates

Selecting gems from the past at Passenger’s off-site freezer archive

This year we will begin to make a few of these “greatest hits” available for purchase in extremely limited quantities. Each release will be announced through Social Media and limited to 1 per order.

The archival lots that we will be releasing in this way are not only shining examples of plant genetics, terroir, and skilled processing, they also offer a unique nostalgic opportunity: to revisit our previous experiences with these coffees and acknowledge once again some of the true high-water marks of producers whose coffees we have been privileged to taste over the years.

• 10.30.20 Release #7: El Barril C.O.E. 2018

• 10.30.20 Release #6: Filadelpo Mejia C.O.E. 2017

• 10.16.20 Release #5: Karagoto AA 2018

• 08.28.2020 Release #4: Yabitu Koba 2018

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