October Mystery Coffee Reveal - Nero Scuro

Our first ever round with Italian Roaster of the Month is complete. Time to learn all the details about October Mystery Coffee!

🇪🇹 Ethiopia Alaka Wine

Region: Hambela, Guji
Variety: Heirloom
Processing: Wine Natural
Altitude: 2000+ masl
Tasting notes: blueberry (compote), jasmine, plum
Harvest: 2023

About the coffee:

This coffee comes from the Guji region of Ethiopia, specifically from the Hambela district.

Situated at an impressive altitude exceeding 2000 m above sea level, this area's unique environment fosters exceptional coffee beans. Vibrant young coffee trees, carefully tended by dedicated local producers, resulting in coffee with distinct flavors that delight enthusiasts worldwide. The region's charm lies in the harmonious blend of agriculture and nature, where Cordia Africana, Acacia, and Albizzia trees provide both shade and character to the beans. The soil, a blend of volcanic fertile red soil and deep sandy loam, contributes to the rich nurturing of these coffee trees.

Alaka coffee derives its name from the Alaka kebele, where it's harvested.

The coffee cherries from Alaka kebele, supplied by 120 small holders, are brought to Hambela Alaka washing station in Guji for further processing.

Entrepreneur Abiyot Boru, a dedicated coffee producer, manages the washing station and multiple coffee farms in the area. His commitment to producing high quality lots is evident in the delightful floral and fruity undertones of this coffee.

Since its establishment in 2005, the washing station has remained a consistent emblem of quality under the attentive management of Abiyot Boru, who has successfully guided its operations ever since.

About the processing:

This particular lot has undergone a wine-like process. This process is a variation of the natural process. It involves leaving the cherries on the shrubs to over-ripen before they are harvested. Such cherries have a higher concentration of sugar once they are harvested than those that are plucked at the peak of the harvest. Once the coffee fruit is harvested, it is sun-dried for several days in a cool climate at more than 1,800 m above sea level. During the day, the beans are laid on a surface to dry under sunlight, and then transferred into plastic tubs for storage at night.

While producers repeat the steps above for two weeks to achieve a natural coffee, this extended fermentation process requires 30 – 60 days of the procedure: this is to make sure fermentation takes place within the coffee cherries.

Once the cherries start to resemble raisins, they are then depulped with a depulper machine and then dried until the water level drops (the moisture content) to 12-14%. The final result is a thick and fruity cup profile.

About the selection:

This month was coordinated by Judy and Dawid
Comments by Dawid

Both of us received blind samples from Nero Scuro and Judy made the final selection. Indeed, it was the best coffee from the group, which was also fairly easy to guess for some more experienced people. It is quite unique Ethiopian lot from one of the highest altitudes and with quite unique processing method. I was expecting some boozy notes, but on the cupping table it was very clean. Cleaner than final production roast, but I still didn't find it boozy in any way. 

Some variation of Ethiopian coffee was also a good choice to close this era of Mystery Coffee League. As communicated before, this is probably our last 250g Mystery Coffee bag ever. 


It was fairly easy-guessing month which is proven by the October stats. The winner of October 2023 round is Angelrf with 28 points. Followed by zoli and Edu with 26 points.

TOP3 of October 2023 round:
1. Angelrf - 28 points
2. zoli - 26 points
3. Edu - 26 points

We have a new leader! Jarg89 with 175 points is taking the first palce. Followed by Sami with 166 points and FdeBarista with 165 points.

TOP3 of 2023 Season:
1. Jarg89 - 175 points
2. Sami - 166 points
3. FdeBarista - 165 points

It was our last round with 250g bag for foreseeable future. November 2023 round will be a preview of 2024 Mystery Coffee League. In the new season we would like to focus on smaller, unique (and more expensive) lots in 100-150g bags. We already had a mix of such rounds during this season, but 2024 MCL will be completely transitioning into providing only the world's best coffees as our Mystery Coffees. Happy to announce that our first roaster of the new season will be Rozali Coffee from Berlin!

December is dedicated to our 3rd edition of the Mystery Coffee Advent Calendar. I'm really excited about this one - it will be definitely the best Mystery Coffee Advent Calendar so far. We're going to include 4 coffees in 100g jars, all unique and rare lots, roasted by some of the best roasters in Europe. It is going to be hard to beat this one next year!

Roaster's line-up for the next three months:
NOVEMBER 23 - Special Guests from London🇬🇧
DECEMBER 23 - Mystery Coffee Advent Calendar
JANUARY 23 - Rozali from Berlin 🇩🇪

Mystery Coffee League is sponsored by Acaia, 1zpresso, Kruve and ACME.

You can join Mystery Coffee League at anytime! Just join our Discord and feel free to ask any questions!

Thanks for the pics, Herman!