District: Yirgacheffe, Gedeo
Altitude: 1900 masl
Varieties: Mixed heirloom varieties
Harvest: November – January
In the cup: Strawberry, tart, mid body, lingering
Background: Yirgacheffe is a town in central southern Ethiopia, located in the Gedeo Zone. It is also the administrative center of Yirgacheffe woreda(or district), the coffee growing area we are all familiar with. Yirgacheffe is bordered on the south by Kochere, on the west by the Oromia Zone, on the north by Wenagoand on the east by Bule.
These are all household names for us within the specialty coffee world. Most of the coffee from Yirgacheffe sits at an elevation between 1800 and 2200 meters above sea level and are predominantly grown by small holder farmers. This particular lot is grown at 1900 meters above sea level.
The coffee is grown in fertile, well drained and red brown soil. There are around 800 farmers that are members of the Kochere farmers group. On average each one of the farmers owns about 2 hectares of land that they have planted with coffee trees.
The farmers use the Acacia, Podocarpesand Cordial Africana trees to share the coffee trees from the harsh midday sun.
This particular lot was processed as a Natural, meaning that the coffee is not pulped and is sun-dried with the pulp on. Only fully ripe cherries are handpicked and are sun-dried on raised drying beds. At the processing plant there are about 120 raised beds for drying the coffee. It usually takes about 3 weeks to dry the coffee, however it sometimes varies depending on the weather conditions. The cherry has to be turned regularly, to ensure even drying.