coffee@home: Novo’s Washed Amaro

Beans: Ethiopia Amaro Gayo Washed
Roaster: Novo Coffee


The second coffee I ordered from Go Coffee Go was this Washed Ethiopia Amaro Gayo from Novo Coffee in Denver, whose Arvada and Denver Art Museum cafes (not to be confused with the kiosks inside the DAM) I last visited over two years ago. The Brodsky brothers source and roast consistently high quality coffees. They impressed me then and I hoped the same would still be true with this coffee.

I debated this order as well, opting for the washed Amaro Gayo rather than the sun-dried/natural/dry-processed version of the same coffee. Echoing the future cries of the coffee cognoscenti, I placed my order before I read Geoff Watt’s plea for fewer, if any, dry-processed coffees even though I probably find myself more closely agreeing with James Hoffman’s take on this particular issue – not all naturals are bad. Although sometimes overwhelming in larger quantities, it’s hard not to be impressed with a good  natural. Still, I had some delicious washed Ethiopian coffees on my palate, such as Ecco Caffe’s Ethiopia Yergacheffe Dama Co-op, so I thought that Novo’s washed Amaro Gayo would be a fun comparison.

The coffee shipped out promptly, but due to the weekend and UPS delivery, didn’t arrive until 5 days post roast. Due to some work travel, I wasn’t able to actually get and open the bag until the coffee was 9 days old. This made me sad, but the coffee still seemed fine. It was no peas porridge in the pot.

While not quite as nuanced or as complicated as that Ecco Dama, it was still a very nice example of what coffee from Ethiopia can be. It was dry, crisp and delicate with notes of white sugar, peach, pineapple and some very subtle floral notes. I found it surprisingly thick, yet still clean and light.

A shot of this coffee as espresso didn’t work particularly well but highlighted some anise notes to the coffee, while brewing it via French Press and a Clever Coffee Dripper with gold cone filter highlighted some verbena. But as I do with most lighter roasted, washed Ethiopian coffees, I preferred this one with a Chemex filter (primarily in an Abid CCD) or in my siphon. Both methods really highlighted the delicate aspects of this coffee and didn’t overpower them with a heavier body.

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4 comments to coffee@home: Novo’s Washed Amaro

  • Nice, a shop i worked at in Houston called Catalina Coffee (and Amaya Roasting) ( has a really great Amaro Gayo natural. Has all the normal natural blueberry and sugar notes but also some really wonderful apple when it cools.

  • Ooh that would be good. I have some Amaro Gayo Amaro Gayo (they’re experimenting with roasting it at origin). Now I wish I had a siphon to put it in.

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