The name George Howell warrants minimal introduction to coffee fanatics. For over four decades, Howell has been a leader in bringing high-quality coffee stateside. It is not unheard of for brand devotees to stay up late into the night, refreshing and clicking furiously when highly limited edition roasts go live online, with good reason: Some of the offerings are worldwide exclusives, limited to under 50 bags. So it seems somewhat remiss for a drinks-based website not to evaluate one of their roasts. Hopefully, it won’t be the last.
A bit of background on today’s roast, an Ethiopian blend:
Established in 2012, the Guduba Wet Mill is located in the Benti Nenka Village of Hambela Wamena district of the West Guji Zone. There are 589 small holders contributing to Guduba who each own 1-2 hectares.
So let’s brew. But first: some housekeeping. Your tasting notes may vary based on personal brewing preferences. For the sake of this review, coffee was ground at a medium-coarse setting and brewed with a Chemex Ottomatic pour-over system, enjoyed black with no additives.
The supplied tasting notes list nectarine, honey, and milk chocolate, and one would have to be actively ignoring the entire cup to miss any of them on the palate. The nectarine sweetness pulls at the beginning and gradually shifts to the earthier elements of honey and cocoa powder towards the end. There’s a soft floral note on the finish, but it never becomes too overpowering. It’s a classic and elegant cup that brings forward the best characteristics of the region’s coffee: not too acidic, not too complex, and full of flavor. Fans of darker roasts may not find this to be their cup, but those who enjoy light roasts will find plenty to love.
Unlike some roasts from George Howell, this one should still be available as this review goes to press. However, act quickly. These things don’t last very long. The good stuff never does.
A- / $19 per 12 oz bag / georgehowellcoffee.com