May Guest Roaster: Small Planes Coffee

May Guest Roaster: Small Planes Coffee

We are very excited to finally feature Small Planes Coffee from Washington, DC as our guest roaster for May.  From the first brew up of Small Planes years ago we knew we'd found a roaster with tremendous skill at bringing out the subtle flavors of the most exquisite coffees.  The Oba Toli is the quintessential washed process Ethiopian coffee and Small Planes has finished it with perfection.  

Cupping Notes:  stone fruit, pink grapefruit, caramel 

  • Roaster: Small Planes
  • Origin: Ethiopia
  • Region: Oromia
  • Zone: Jimma
  • Union: Kata Muduga
  • Co-op: Oba Toli
  • Altitude: 1,800-2,000 MASL
  • Varietals: Ethiopian Landraces
  • Process: Washed
  • Importer: Osito Coffee

More about what makes this coffee special...

This is another delightful washed coffee processed by the Kata Muduga Union. It comes from just over 160 producers of the relatively new Oba Toli Cooperative (established in 2018). 

The importer, Osito Coffee, has been a partner of the Kata Muduga Union since the 2018/19 harvest season. In fact, they were Osito's very first partner in Ethiopia at all! The initial connection was made by a member of the Osito team who had managed sourcing for another company and had worked with Kata Muduga in the past. 

Since the beginning, Osito has made a concerted effort to partner not only with co-ops who were known to produce high quality but also with co-ops such as Oba Toli who are not yet well-known and also have the potential to produce high quality consistently.

As far as the processing goes, all cherries are received from local farms and processed together. Fermentations are typically around 12hrs and drying times are usually less than 15 days when it is dry.

Oba Toli has gentle stone fruit and clementine notes, as well as that spicy florality of sage honey. You'll definitely find citric acidity, but it reminds us of a friendly pink grapefruit, and is balanced by the lovely, lingering sweetness of chewy caramels. It's soft and round, easy enough for the first cup of the day, and happy enough to lift you out of a mid-afternoon slump. 

Learn more about Small Planes: 

Check out our Instagram Live with Cassie Ash, the green buyer for Small Planes, to learn more about their approach to sourcing coffee, how they decide on which coffees to roast and serve, and the change they would like to impact in the coffee industry going forward. 

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