Bucharest-based specialty coffee brand Sloane returns for its second feature this month, offering us our first-ever honey-processed coffee from Ethiopia
When I first arrived in Bucharest, it was mid-winter and the snow was waist-high. I didn’t really know what to expect of the Romanian capital city but it would be my home for the next few months and I decided to make the most of my time there. I found it slightly difficult to connect with locals while I was there, often struggling to build the social bonds that I had so easily built with my friends in Amsterdam but the city was clearly undergoing some big changes and it was an exciting time to live there. This was back in 2009 and I know that the Bucharest of today is very different from the one I left behind ten years ago.
For one, there is a very exciting specialty coffee culture that has taken root in a city where coffee houses were already abundant but the coffee was nothing to write home about. Indeed, it was never really about that. Most importantly, coffee houses are places where people can gather until late in the evening and depending on where you are, they are also the places where the rich and famous rub shoulders. I perfectly recall the incredible parade of expensive cars that used to line the streets outside my local coffee bar back then.
Today, there are more and more exciting coffee bars that are really focused on sourcing and presenting the finest coffees from around the world as well as a growing number of local roasters such as Sloane Coffee. Founded in 2017, this fine roastery from the heart of Bucharest is run by a passionate team led by Teodora Pitis who set the company up. Her responsibility is to hunt down unique coffees and exclusive micro-lots that are then roasted to perfection by her head roaster Bogdan Georgescu who has a background in engineering and is known for being extremely precise, something that comes in very handy when you’re trying to find the perfect roast profile for each coffee.
The last time Sloane was featured in one of our coffee boxes was as part of our July ’17 coffee box and when I bumped into Teodora at the recent London Coffee Festival, I got chatting to her about a potential new feature. Before I knew it, she pulled a bunch of samples out of her bag and my eyes immediately fell onto the coffee that we eventually chose for our forthcoming May ’19 coffee box. It’s our first-ever honey-processed Ethiopian coffee made up of two specific varieties, the Certo and the Wollisho.
Anyone who is familiar with Ethiopian coffees will know that the vast majority of coffees from this origin are washed and mixed heirloom coffees. You can also find excellent natural-processed coffees, of course, but variety-specific or coffees with other processing methods are more difficult to find.
The Qore wetmill in Kochere is run by Israel Degfa who is known for his excellent sustainability record and for producing truly outstanding coffees. Israel is one of the few producers who work with a system to classify the beans by density and only the first-grade ones are used for honey-processing. With the mucilage left on, they are laid out to dry in the sun while at night they cover them. After a few days they start moving them about to crack the sticky ‘parchment’ and avoid them sticking together. Any beans with defects are sorted out during the drying process.
The coffee you get offers a unique blend of the key characteristics of washed and natural coffees, in other words, the cleanliness of a washed coffee and the fruity depth of a natural coffee. It’s a real thrill to have this unique coffee in our forthcoming May ’19 coffee box.
This Coffeevine edition is now sold out.
All boxes ship on 20-05