Ethiopia is considered the indigenous birthplace of coffee. The coffee of southern Ethiopia has an incredibly beauty to its taste. The region surrounding Yirgacheffe is very special in coffee history, as it was the first place with a washing station, which set the precedent for the quality that is associated with the region and those around it today. It is a diverse ecosystem with plenty of plants and shade, despite being relatively heavily populated.
Coffees from Yirgacheffe are currently in season, and all of our roasters happen to have one. Unlike some of the more densely planted parts of the country, there is still a massive presence of traditional indigenous coffee types. The Yirgacheffe varietals tend to exhibit intensely floral, sweet, almost tea-like washed qualities, as we'll see below.
The washing process is unique. It begins with washing the coffee cherry in order to remove the fleshy fruit material. This is done right after the harvest when the fruit is still moist. Next is fermentation to get rid of the mucilage. After the underwater fermentation, the coffee is then washed and then sent to a soak tank. The coffee is soaked for about eighteen hours after washing and fermentation. The wet processing creates a "clean" cup of coffee, whereas dry processing results in a more full-bodied but less clean cup.
Region- Gelana Abaya Varietal- Ethiopian Heirloom Processing-Washed Process Elevation- 1800-1980 m Cup- Clean, sparkling layers of lemon blossom and juicy pomegranate, balanced by the sweetness of clover honey, build to a crisp and elegant finish. Retail Price- $18.00/12 oz.
Region- Adado Varietal- Ethiopian Heirloom Processing- Depulped and mechanically washed in an eco-pulper before being dried on raised beds in the sun. Elevation- 2000-2400 m Cup- Spiced Apple Cider, Mandarin Orange in a heavy molasses cup. Retail Price- $15.oo/12 oz.
Region- Gedeo Varietal- Ethiopian Heirloom Processing- Washed Process Elevation- 1900-2200 m Cup- Lavender and Jasmine bouquet. In the cup, it explodes with juicy key lime, chocolate and pineapple. A classic Yirgacheffe. Retail Price- $16.50/12 oz.
I personally think this one has a very delicate, smooth taste. Juicy body, clean finish.
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Peaberry (Blue Bottle)
Region- Sidama Varietal- Peaberry Processing- Shade grown Elevation- 1800-2200 m Cup- Apricot, jasmine, cucumber, rose Retail Price- $14.50/16 oz.
Peaberries are actually special because the beans are round. Normally, the beans split, but these ones remain small and in tact. As David so aptly described, "not only is the word Peaberry cute, but so are the beans!"
Region- Yirgacheffe Varietal- Ethiopian Heirloom Processing- Wet processed. Elevation- 1800-2100 m Cup- Lemon zest and flowers in the aroma, softening in the cup to ripe lemon and nut-toned cocoa. Balanced, gently bright acidity; impressively silky mouthfeel. Flavor carries decisively into a mildly drying finish. Retail Price- $12.95/12 oz.
I think this is much more full-bodied than the Stumptown. VERY flavorful.
So get yourself a cup of Yirgacheffe and tell us what you think!