Chemex of the Week: Stumptown Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Chelbessa
The family-owned Chelbessa washing station, located near Worka in the Gedeb District of the Gedeo Zone, is only in its second year of processing. But you wouldn’t know that by looking at (or tasting) their coffee--the quality is indistinguishable from those of Stumptown’s oldest partners.
Part of the mill’s secret is its prime location: it is, quite literally, the center of attention to the 1,000 farmers whose farms surround the mill. This way the beans can get to the washing station immediately after harvest, preventing spoilage and ensuring cup quality. If you fancied a visit to these tiny individual lots today, you’d see coffee trees growing in harmony with old growth hardwood trees and more. This cultivation system promotes natural soil enhancement and wildlife diversity, contributing to the long-term sustainability of the region.
The Gedeo Zone is the main production area for Ethiopia’s Yirgacheffe and Sidamo coffees, well-known in the specialty coffee industry for their distinct fragrance, acidity, and cleanliness. However, the particular heirloom varieties processed at Chelbessa contain an even more unique and exquisite flavor profile. Stumptown describes the cup as having jasmine fragrance with notes of bergamot oil and peach, and honeydew texture. I found this coffee to also have a warm and cozy feel with a lingering fruity aftertaste. Try it, and see what flavors you can uncover.