Hello folks, I’m back again with another review for you and this one is something a bit special. Without further ado, let’s get stuck in.
Today we’re going to be looking at Eden Ethiopian Coffee who were a lovely little find on my last visit to Camden Market in London. They have a stall there selling both drinks and bags of coffee and they lure in business by roasting beans right there on the stall in a little pan. You can smell them long before you see them and like a moth to a lightbulb I made a beeline for them the moment I caught a whiff of the beans.
And wow, I am so glad I did.
I’m fairly familiar with Ethiopian types of coffee, I regularly buy Yirgacheffe and occasionally Sidamo as well, but this time I spotted a bean that I wasn’t familiar with – Djimmah. That’s what we’re going to be looking at today.
As with the Union coffee review, I can’t exactly talk about the online purchasing experience as I picked my beans up from the stall. The folks working the stall were very knowledgable and friendly and I’d happily go back to purchase from them again. They’ve recently relocated their stall in the Market and you can see further details about this on their twitter account here – Eden Ethiopian Coffee Twitter
The website takes a moment or two to load, but is very easy to navigate. Prices for their coffees range from £8-£8.50 for a 250g bag. Currently they offer the following –
- Eden House Blend
You can get free shipping, or there is a flat rate of £5.40 if you need your coffee hit in a hurry. They don’t specify the specific details of each shipping option, but I would imagine the free shipping will be by UK 2nd class post, so it’ll take a few days to get to you.
It’s also worth noting that the coffee is cheaper if you buy it in person at the stall. I paid £6 for my bag of Djimmah which is a very reasonable price indeed.
It’s a very simple bag, not air tight, so best to decant these into another container as soon as you can to keep them fresh. I couldn’t get a very good shot of the beans in part due to the bag being very tall, so there was a lack of light, but also the light in my kitchen wasn’t very good on this particular day.
The first thing you’ll notice about this coffee is the smell. There’s a distinct spicy overtone. Now the blurb on the back of the bag says that the coffee is more natural and “having a hint of a spicy flavour”.
I first tried this as a milk based drink and all I can see is that for me it was less “mild” spicy notes and more “A bellowing Randy Savage bursting into the room as he exhorts you to snap into a processed meat snack”, or “Kool-Aid man crashing through a wall and offering what appear to be glasses of his own blood”. Mild was not the word I would have used to descrbe it.
The spicy notes are immediately in attendance from the second you open the bag, to the moment you pull the shot to the first sip and yet to say that my brow was furrowed in confusion on the first mouthful wouldn’t be far from the truth. It really wasn’t what I expected it all. I actually had to ask my wife to try it as well because at first I didn’t believe what I was tasting. It’s so rich as to be almost chocolatey, with the spicy notes rolling over the tongue as you swallow and lingering very pleasantly afterward. She had a taste and agreed it was almost like drinking chocolate rather than coffee!
I then tried it in my syphon filter, where it’s a very different affair entirely. Below you can see a little gallery of the syphon process for those of you who aren’t familiar with this particular piece of coffee-making kit. You heat the water in the bulb at the bottom so that it rises up through the cloth filter and into your grounds. Once that’s done you turn your heatsource down so that the liquid is just simmering for about a minute or so, then remove the heat and the coffee filters back into the bulb, leaving your grounds behind.
The syphon, I find, tends to bring out the brighter notes in coffee. In this instance that meant it amplified the spicy flavours to the point that they were almost overpowering on the first sip! It’s a much stronger drink in the syphon, the coffee and spice notes drowning out any hint of the chocolate. It almost reminded me of wine, actually, that sort of quite potent flavour. It’s not a bad drink by any stretch, but it is very, very different. I’ve likely drunk as much of this in my syphon as I have with the Barista!
In summary, this is a really lovely, unique coffee with massively different characteristics depending on how you make it. I would NOT recommend you use it for espresso unless you’re going to put it in milk, I found it very bland when used to make an americano. Filter or milk-based espresso drink is definitely the best way to enjoy it in my opinion.
Up next, the Brothers blend from Ozone Coffee. That should be out in the next week or so. Thanks for taking the time to read my latest review.