Soft peaches and a creamy body. Bit like a Peach cobbler with a dollop of cream.
Our first Yirgacheffe coffee of the season is this Gelena Abaya from the Shara washing station. Gelena Abaya coffees are produced in the Gelena and Abaya woredas (districts,) located just northwest of the town of Yirgacheffe. These are neighbouring woredas, Gelena to the south and Abaya to the north, stretched along the eastern slopes of the range of hills that separate Yirgacheffe from Lake Abaya in the Borena zone.
Although Yirgacheffe town is less than 10 miles from the Shara washing station in Gelana Abaya, the border between the Oromia Region and Southern Nation Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) runs right between them. Technically, since Yirgacheffe is located in the Gedeo Zone of the SNNPR, there are some geographical distinctions between Gelena Abaya coffees and Yirgacheffe coffees. In the cup the differences would be extremely subtle but that's part of the beauty of Ethiopian coffees.
Two neighbouring mills take their coffee from approximately 1200 smallholder farmers and all the depulping machinery and fermentation tanks are kept in a pristine state. As we'd expect and hope, this attention to detail and cleanliness gets demonstrated in the cup quality.
For the fully washed coffees the ripe cherries are delivered to the mill, where they are graded, sorted, de-pulped and fermented underwater for between 36 - 48 hours, depending on temperature, humidity and other factors. All water used comes from the Chelba river, whose source is high in the Mendebo mountains of Southern Ethiopia.
Parchment is then sorted in washing channels, and then are placed onto raised African drying tables. The drying period generally lasts for up to 2 weeks, until moisture level reaches 12% or lower.