Varietal(s): Heirloom Varietals
Processing: Fully Washed
Flavours: Fudge, vanilla, honey
Altitude: 2,000 to 2,200 metres above sea level
In 2008 Ethiopia began the centralization of all coffee exports through the newly established Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX).
Today, around 90 percent of coffees move through the ECX and are cupped according to profile then graded and marked generically for export. G1 lots, such as this one, are the highest grade and are in limited supply.
All of the Ethiopian coffees that we purchase (mercanta coffee hunters) are selected on the basis of their exceptional cup profile first and foremost. This remains our guiding principle in Ethiopia and in all origins where we source coffees. We also believe in ascribing to the standards and laws set out by the originating countries and will always operate entirely within these.
About the Yirgacheffe region
Yirgacheffe is actually part of the Sidamo region in southern Ethiopia, but its exquisite washed coffees are so well-known that is has been sub-divided into its own micro-region. This steep, green area is fertile and high – much of the coffee grows at 2,000m and above.
There are approximately 26 cooperatives in the region, representing some 43,794 farmers and around 62,004 hectares of garden coffee. The production is predominantly washed, although a smaller amount of sundried coffees also come out of Yirgacheffe.
There is only one main harvest a year in Ethiopia – this takes place in November and December across all of the country’s growing regions. There are, on average, 4 passes made during the harvest period, and, in regions that produce both washed and naturals, the last pass is used for the natural coffee. Washed coffees are then generally pulped on the same day that they are picked (usually in the evening/night), sorted into three grades by weight (heavy, medium and floaters), fermented ( usually between 16 and 48 hours), washed and then usually graded again in the washing channels. The beans are then dried on African beds, where they are hand-sorted, usually by women.