• Tasting Notes Orange blossom, bergamot, candied peel
  • Location Yirgacheffe, Gedeo, Ethiopia
  • Elevation 2050 M
  • Process Washed
  • metafields
    Region Yirgacheffe, Gedeo, Ethiopia
  • metafields
    Varieties Wolisho, Dega
  • metafields
    Elevation 2050 masl
  • metafields
    Process Washed
  • metafields
    Importer Ally

Taste Notes

Orange blossom, bergamot, candied peel.


Our final washed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe of the season comes from the Chelbesa wet mill produced by smallholder producers in the Worka kebele in the Gedeo zone of Ethiopia. The Chelbesa wet mill is one of two operated by Negusse Debela, the other in the Danche sub-area. He processes washed, natural, and unique experimental lots in an effort to continue improving the quality of their final product. Worka Chelbesa is located in Gedeb woreda, which is the southernmost part of the Gedeo zone. The area is known for its dense semi-forest vegetation, including ensete trees and other shade plants, providing ideal conditions for shade-grown coffee.

Local farmers grow Wolisho and Dega variety coffee, which are landrace varieties from the Yirgacheffe region. Cherries are manually harvested before being taken to the processing station where they are hand sorted before being processed. Pulped coffee is wet fermented for 72 hours before being washed in channels. The fermentation tanks at Chelbesa are ceramic, quickening the fermentation process and contributing to the clarity of the final cup. The coffee is then density sorted for quality, ensuring easy separation in higher grade lots. After fermentation and sorting, coffee is soaked for two hours to complete the fully washed process and then dried for 10 days. All coffee is hand sorted a final time after drying before being prepared for export.

Among coffee-producing countries, Ethiopia holds near-legendary status not only because it’s the “birthplace” of Arabica coffee, but also because it is simply unlike every other place in the coffee world. Unlike the vast majority of coffee-growing countries, the plant was not introduced as a cash crop through colonization. Instead, growing, processing, and drinking coffee is part of the everyday way of life, and has been for centuries, since the trees were discovered growing wild in forests and eventually cultivated for household use and commercial sale.

From an outsider’s perspective, this adds to the great complexity that makes Ethiopian coffee so hard to fully comprehend—culturally, politically, and economically as well as simply culinarily. Add to that the fact that the genetic diversity of the coffee here is unmatched globally—there is 99% more genetic material in Ethiopia’s coffee alone than in the entire rest of the world—and the result is a coffee lover’s dream: There are no coffees that are spoken of with the reverence or romance that Ethiopian coffees are.

Literally translated as “Land of Many Springs,” Yirgacheffe has the ideal topography, elevation, and water sources to produce and process exceptional coffees. This region is located inside of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia, which is home to 45 distinct people groups. Coffee farmers in Yirgacheffe are typically multi-generational small-scale landholders, sometimes farming only a few hectares. Most coffees in Yirgacheffe are sold as cherry to centralized washing stations that help further separate flavor profiles.

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