Super clean and complex. Everything you want from a great washed Yirgacheffe. Ripe pear and mango with Jasmine florals and a silky body.
This coffee is from a privately owned wetmill called Alemu Bukato owned by Abeyot Ageze. The mill is in the Banko Gutitu area of the Kochere woreda (administrative region) of the Yirgacheffe zone. It is supplied by some 650 small-holder farmers delivering cherry daily and much of it is prepared and graded as Grade 1, showing that only the highest quality cherries have been selected for this coffee.
This is Lot 1, and generally lot separation is based on 150 bags of parchment, equal to 100 bags of greens.
Warqee is a designation given to this coffee by our partner and green importer Nordic Approach. They have designed a wheel specifically for Ethiopian coffees they source and match a particular coffee to one of their flavour categories. Nordic Approach scored this coffee a whopping 89 points on the SCAA system. Yes, it's a banger.
On average the farmers supplying cherries have a farm size of less than one hectare. Most coffees are organic by default since organic compost is common, pruning less common. A farmer can typically have less than 1500 trees per hectare, and 1 tree typically produces cherries equal to less than 100 - 200 grams of green coffee.
Ethiopia has one main annual coffee harvest across all growing regions, occurring from November to January. To ensure only the very ripest cherries are selected, at least four passes are made during harvesting.
Ethiopia’s proud history as the birthplace of coffee and producer of some of the world’s most exquisite premium coffees means Ethiopian coffee is highly sought after internationally. The popularity of coffee among locals also remains strong; Ethiopians themselves drink more than half the quantity of coffee they grow.
Named after the Indigenous Gedeo People, the mountainous Kochere micro-region has long been renowned as one of the best origins of Southern Ethiopian coffee. A unique combination of very steep yet fertile land at high altitude means much of the coffee grows at over 2,000 metres above sea level. At this altitude, exceptional heirloom varieties and iron-rich, acidic soil creates ideal conditions to produce premium coffee.
At first glance, Yirgacheffe’s verdant hills appear thickly forested, yet it is a densely populated region dotted with villages, with around 43,000 farmers growing ‘garden coffee’ over approximately 62,004 hectares. Coffee is generally farmed organically and is an important cash crop grown alongside food for consumption.
This coffee is a blend of local varieties collectively known as ‘Ethiopian Heirloom’. All of these varieties are Arabica and most originate from a Typica predecessor, but with wild mutations that result in some exceptional and unique flavour profiles.
After the coffee cherries have been carefully handpicked, they are delivered on the same day to the Alemu Baketo Wet Mill, where they are processed using the washed method. The coffee cherries are then hand-sorted to remove any damaged or unripe fruit prior to the removal of the skin of the cherries by a disc pulper.
The resulting coffee is then graded by weight; heavier beans are superior quality and deliver a sweeter cup. After grading, the parchment-covered coffee is then soaked in tanks of clean water for 36-48 hours to remove the mucilage (sticky covering) by allowing it to ferment and detach from the coffee. The coffee is then re-washed and graded again by density in washing channels and then dried for 12 – 15 days on African drying beds, firstly under cover, and subsequently under the sun. Given daytime temperatures range between 20-25 degrees Celsius, the sun beds are covered from noon until 3pm to protect from exposure to full sun and again overnight to protect from morning dew. To ensure consistent drying results, the coffee is carefully hand-sorted and turned regularly, a task usually undertaken by women.
The cleaned and dried beans are stored in a warehouse with a region label, and are graded. This coffee is a Grade 1, the best from this washing station.