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Yirgacheffe Coffee : The Thread that Binds Us

The Koke washing station is just outside Yirgacheffe town in the Gedeo zone. It has a massive 10 fermentation tanks to process coffee cherry. T...

Origin
Ethtiopia
Region
Yirgacheffe
Washing Station
Koke
Variety
Wolisho, Dega and Kudhume (Kudhumi, Kurume)
Process
Washed
Altitude
1870 - 1900m
Harvest
November - January

Yirgacheffe Coffee : The Thread that Binds Us

The Koke washing station is just outside Yirgacheffe town in the Gedeo zone. It has a massive 10 fermentation tanks to process coffee cherry. This is hauled in from remote farms by local small holders in the surrounding 'wareda', or shire . The area has great growing conditions and is famed for producing classic ‘Ethiopian’ coffee. They have a justified reputation for excellence. After all they've been doing it longer than anyone else in Ethiopia. They established the first washing station in Yirgacheffe way back in 1970. Since that time Atkinson’s Yirgacheffe has always been a go to coffee form many of our regulars.

A Vocabulary of Varietals

Wolisho, Dega and Kudhume are three varietals that grow locally in the Gedeo Zone. Most farmers grow at least two of these varieties. Although there is little documented history on them. We still don’t know for sure if these are specific varieties or a branch of a larger family of coffee. Other zones also have these varietals under slightly different names. So it is not uncommon to find a small variance in spelling.

Kudhume (Kudhumi, Kurume) has a small bean size and is known for disease resistance, is also popular in the Guji region. Dega sits in the middle with average bean size and tree height. Wolisho (Walichu) exhibits a larger bean size. The names stem mainly from local indigenous trees. Dega is commonly used as firewood and has a reputation for its fragrant characteristics. It could also come from a linguistic term in Amharic. This could relate to altitude and temperature that coincide with its terrain.

Working with these coffees we enjoy and celebrate this odd variety of varieties. When opening a new crop sack we are not surprised to see the full range of different sizes. It is what it is. The main thing is it smells fantastic! Especially these days as it comes in a securely fastened Grain Pro bag inside the traditional hessian sack.

The Flavours Revealed

What are we picking up in the cup? Well, we’re getting some classic Ethiopian signature notes of blueberry and apricot as well as some beautiful light, floral aromas. In fact, for us, Yirgacheffes are all about aroma. We have always found coffees from this region to have a unique meadow sweet-like fragrance but we’re also getting some rose and basil in this coffee which translates into turkish delight and coconut notes in the cup.

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