||Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kebel Aricha Washed 2014
||Varietal: Typica and heirloom varietals
Buying from Ethiopia continues to be a challenge. Only if you try to buy by name though, as the cupping table always shows some amazing coffees if you look hard enough and are willing to pay a little extra. However, buying through the Ethiopian commodity exchange continues to be difficult it you require some traceability or back story with the coffees. You have to become a detective.
What I do know is this coffee comes from a mill in the Gedeo Zone, west of the town of Yirgacheffe in the Guji area (around 4 km west). The mill is called Kerbal Aricha and is owned by Surafel Birhanu, and is supplied by around 650 - 750 small holder farmers (mainly garden growers), who produce around 5 containers of specialty coffee a year, and around 10 commercial grade. The varietals are anyone's guess, but seem to be mainly made up from Typica and various other heirloom varietals. This is what you get in Ethiopia: lots of small growers with lots of different mutations and variations of plants, and little interest in separating and finding out.
Ripe cherries are delivered to the mill where they are graded, sorted, de-pulped, and then fermented underwater for between 36 and 48 hours, depending on temperature, humidity, and other factors. Parchment is then sorted in washing channels, and then placed onto raised African drying tables. The drying period generally lasts for up to 2-3 weeks, until moisture level reaches 12% or lower. The beans are then transported in parchment to the ECX warehouse in Awassa, then dry-milled to remove the parchment prior to shipping.
The altitude is varied but goes between 1950 and 2100 meters above sea level to the west of the town of Yirgacheffe. Detective work over, Ethiopian coffee can only be found on the cupping table. Mills will produce lots of different qualities and quantities. Other people may get coffees from this mill but none will taste as amazing as this one does on the cupping table, and we snapped it all up very quickly.
What it doesn't take a detective to work out is that this coffee is very very special. In the cup it's a typical washed Yirgacheffe but on steroids. Think citrus with bergamot and a tea like quality but super clean and transparent, finishing with a delicious floral and perfumed aftertaste. A truly special coffee.
Washing station:Kebel Aricha
Farmer: 650 - 750 small holder producers
Farm Size: n/a
Coffee growing area: n/a
Altitude: 1950-2100 masl
Varietal: Typica and heirloom varietals
Processing System: Washed process and sun dried
Drop just before any second crack happens.
"Quick Look" Guide:
Citrus, lemon, bergamot,tea like, clean, floral, perfume.
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