Huckleberry Roasters - Guji Uraga

8

Acidity

10.0/10

Aftertaste

10.0/10

Aroma

8.0/10

Balance

10.0/10

Body

7.0/10

Complexity

9.0/10

Flavor

9.0/10

Forgiveness

8.0/10

Sweetness

9.0/10

Versatility

0.0/10

Pros

  • Great for drip and AeroPress
  • Great balance
  • Great acidity
  • Beautiful bag (it matters!)

Cons

  • Light body
  • Exclusively floral and fruit

Huckleberry Roasters roasted the Ethiopia Guji Uraga that I’ll be reviewing here today. This is my second delivery from my MistoBox coffee subscription.

Ethiopian coffee is my favorite, so I expected big things from the Guji Uraga. Also, I won’t lie, the beautiful bag this coffee comes in probably influenced my opinion of it before I even took my first sip.

About Huckleberry Roasters

Huckleberry Roasters hails from Denver, Colorado and sources coffee directly from the farms of the producers they work with. In other words, they stand by the “direct trade” coffee sourcing model which is aimed at cutting out the middlemen so farmers can earn more money for the coffee they grow.

Huckleberry only sells whole bean coffee, so if you don’t own a grinder and you’re looking to try this coffee, you’ll either have to invest in a coffee grinder or stop reading this review I guess.

About the Producer (Uraga Cooperative)

The Guji Uraga is named after the cooperative (Uraga Cooperative) that produced it. This particular coffee was fully washed and grown at an altitude of 1,900 – 2,200 masl and consists of Ethiopian heirloom varieties.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find too much information about this producer beyond this.

General Notes and Observations

The Guji Uraga was a fantastic coffee when brewed right. Two batches that I brewed were absolutely amazing and made up for the blandness I was getting from some of the other brews.

Roast: Light (Half City)
Producers: Uraga Cooperative
Region: Guji Zone, Oromia region of Ethiopia
Variety: Heirloom
Processing method: Washed
Farm elevation: 1,900 – 2,200masl
Aroma:  jasmine, butter, cinnamon
Roaster tasting notes: Tangerine, apricot, summer herbs, honeysuckle
Coffee Concierge tasting notes: Orange, banana, cinnamon, jasmine, smoke

Brew Methods

I took a ton of notes while working through this bag of coffee. Certainly a relief considering how much easier it is when it comes time to write the review.

AeroPress

One of my best brews was with the AeroPress.

I used my typical 18 grams of coffee and 230 grams of water at 202˚F. Grind was coarse (#40) on my Breville Smart Grinder Pro and the total brew time was 1:50.

The resulting cup of coffee was beautifully balanced between the tangerine acidity and smokey, floral finish.

Winning Recipe

  • Coffee Dose: 18 grams
  • Water Dose: 230 grams
  • Water Temperature: 202˚F
  • Grind: #40 (medium-coarse) Breville Smart Grinder Pro
  • Brew Time: 1:50

Chemex

My best brew with the Guji Uraga came from the Chemex. Very floral and fruity flavor notes…incredibly sweet. Everything I could ever want from a cup of coffee.

The key distinction here was the coarser grind and higher water temperature. This seemed to agree very well with this light roast coffee, which makes sense to me.

Winning Recipe

  • Coffee Dose: 24 grams
  • Water Dose: 432 grams
  • Water Temperature: 207˚F
  • Grind: #53 (coarse) Breville Smart Grinder Pro
  • Brew Time: 4:10

V60

My Hario V60 was brewed with very similar parameters to my best cup with the AeroPress. I stuck to the same grind and the same amount of coffee, with slight variations to the other variables.

The orange flavor notes were still present up-front, but the finish was cinnamon and “coffee” flavored.

So with a less-concentrated brew recipe, longer extraction time, and slightly higher temperature I saw a little bit less complexity but more of a “coffee-esque” note.

Winning Recipe

  • Coffee Dose: 18 grams
  • Water Dose: 324 grams
  • Water Temperature: 204˚F
  • Grind: #40 (coarse)
  • Brew Time: 3:30

Ratings

If you’re new here, you can check out how I rate whole bean coffee here.

Acidity

Perfect level of acidity that never ventured into sour territory despite coarse grind settings and somewhat low brewing temperatures here and there.

Score: 5

Aftertaste

The aftertaste generally had a smokey and/or buttery taste to it. It was definitely one of my favorite things about this coffee. Brought out especially well when brewed with the AeroPress.

Score: 5

Aroma

Not as much complexity in the aroma as there was in the taste itself, but still delicious albeit subdued.

Score: 4

Balance

Along with the complexity of this coffee, the balance was a major standout. The orange and floral notes were balanced out very nicely with the smokey butter notes at the finish and in the aftertaste.

Score: 5

Body

Although this is a pretty thin-bodied coffee through drip methods, it worked nicely. Body is largely contingent on brew method as far as I’m concerned, so if I had brewed with more immersion-based coffee makers like the French Press or Moka Pot I would have probably experienced more of the body.

Score: 3.5

Complexity

The Guji Uraga had a very wide array of aromas and flavors. Fruity, floral, smokey…to me, this one covered a good chunk of the flavor spectrum.

Score: 4.5

Flavor

I really enjoyed the way this coffee tasted. It wasn’t perfect every time, but it was close.

Score: 4.5

Forgiveness

I definitely under-extracted this coffee from time-to-time, but overall I thought it was rather forgiving given how good it tasted across the 3 brew methods I frequently used with the Guji Uraga.

Score: 4

Sweetness

Very sweet and brewed under the right conditions. I’d go high temperature with a pretty coarse grind on the Chemex if I wanted to maximize the sweetness in the Guji Uraga.

Score: 4.5

Versatility

I wish I had pulled some espresso shots with the Guji Uraga, but I never got around to it. Similarly, I wish I had done more experimentation with immersion brewing techniques.

Since I was pretty much all drip here, I’ll leave this score out.

Score: n/a

Summary

I really enjoyed the Guji Uraga from Huckleberry Roasters. Of course, this isn’t surprising given the fact that Ethiopia is one of my favorite coffee growing regions.

I can see this coffee being a pretty easy one to under-extract, so if you use auto drip brewing methods you might want to steer clear given that most will not get your water hot enough for proper extraction.

Of course, you could probably circumvent this with a slightly finer grind, but I can’t say how it would do since I didn’t brew this in my auto drip.

Recommended for:

  • Manual drip coffee brewers, particularly with thick filters (Chemex, Kalita Wave)
  • Highly recommended for AeroPress users
  • If you don’t have experience with light roast coffee and are looking for a good intro to the roast profile
  • Those who like fruity and floral notes over chocolate, nutty, and/or earthy notes