Ethiopian Washed Yirgacheffe Gr. 2 Kochere
Tasting notes: A balanced, complete structure supports a refreshing, sweetly citrusy aromatic. Tropical fruits and honey notes create a sweet medium body cup that is distinctively Ethiopia roasted to a Full City roast to keep the sweetness.
Widely believed to be the birthplace of coffee, it's no surprise that Ethiopian heirloom varietals are often seen as the pinnacle of coffee flavors -- what a fine coffee should aspire to be. Since 2008, most coffee in Ethiopia is traded on the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange (ECX), a move that is meant to make it easier for smaller farms to reach international markets. In February 2013, USAID and the ECX signed an agreement to strengthen the ability to trace coffee origins through ECX. Today, it’s difficult to find coffees sourced outside the exchange.
The two main coffee-growing areas in Ethiopia are Harrar and Sidamo/Yirgacheffe, and each offers distinct coffee profiles. Both are full-bodied coffees with an earthy, rustic quality and light fruity, wine and floral notes. Harrar coffees tend to have a cleaner taste and lighter body, and those that are dry-processed often have a pronounced blueberry note. Sidamo coffees are spicier and earthier, with thick, almost buttery body and an explosion of fruit and floral notes that seem to vary from one cup to the next, and most certainly from one harvest to the next. Yirgacheffe, a small city in the Sidamo region, markets its coffee under its own name, though it is, for all intents and purposes, Sidamo coffee. Other Ethiopian coffee origins include Jimma, Soti and Guji, a subset of the Sidamo region.
Dry processing and wet processing deliver distinctly different cups. Harrar coffees are most often dry-processed, resulting in a fruity, winey, floral extravaganza of flavor that is almost impossible to describe. Sidamo coffees are most often wet-processed, delivering a rounder, cleaner profile. The fruit flavors and floral notes are softer and sweeter, and the wild, wine quality is less pronounced. When you can find dry-processed Sidamo or Yirgacheffe, though, you'll find strong fruit notes, tobacco, toffee, molasses, pepper and spice in the cup. When you do find a high-quality dry-processed Ethiopian coffee, the best advice is to enjoy it while you have it. Ethiopian heirloom coffees appear to be very sensitive to small changes in climate and growing conditions. When it's good, it's perfect, but you may never find two coffee harvests that taste the same.