Beloya - a Classic Yirgacheffe Coffee
Beloya is a classic Yirgacheffe coffee, with floral notes of honeysuckle, peach and almond. We roast it medium light to hang on to its delicate aromati...
Beloya - a Classic Yirgacheffe Coffee
Beloya is a classic Yirgacheffe coffee, with floral notes of honeysuckle, peach and almond. We roast it medium light to hang on to its delicate aromatics. It is so popular we will be roasting small batches of it several times a week. So bags of Beloya will always be on their way to you a couple of days after roast.
Economics - Ethiopian Coffee Culture
It grows in abundance where coffee first originated from in the fertile forests of Ethiopia. Coffee is so deeply engrained in Ethiopian culture that they are the only coffee producing nation that actually consumes domestically more coffee than it exports of this precious commodity. Despite this it is still the main export of their economy
Botany - The Indigenous Bean
In most coffee producing countries, coffee was introduced as a cash crop through colonialization. However, in Ethiopia, coffee has been growing naturally for thousands of years. As a result It now has thousands of varieties of coffee that have evolved over time. We are right now entering a new age of naming these varieties and giving them the recognition they deserve.
It is as if they are emerging from the dappled shade of their forest habitat into the sunny uplands of the verdant highlands that rise here from the Rift Valley. Now for the first time they are falling under the spotlight of the wider world of coffee enthusiasts, eager for this new information.
Macro Geography - Yirgacheffe - ‘East of the Rift’
Further South, in the tea plantations of Kenya, there is a traditional quality designation known as 'East of the Rift'. I'm sure we can borrow this marque of excellence or appellation from the tea industry for our own purposes. After all the same climatological, topographical and geological conditions combine in these hills to give us the perfectly natural growing conditions for coffee.
Micro Geography - Beloya Washing Station
Beloya is a small washing station located in the Kochere district. This is one of six 'waredas' or shires in the Yirgacheffe region. At harvest the coffee cherry is hauled into the washing station for processing from remote farms by local small-holders in the surrounding area. There are currently 310 farmers delivering to the washing station.
Agriculture - Every Single Hectare Counts
Each one has less than one hectare of land that they have been farming for many years. All this innate experience and expertise is a huge contributing factor to the consistently high quality now exhibiting itself in the cup of this delicate and elegant style of coffee.
Though the washing station has been around for over twenty years it has recently been bought by an exporter called Tracon Trading who have been investing in the facilities to increase quality and efficiency.
Organic Farming - Best Practice and Processes
They now have 12 fermentation tanks and 136 raised beds allowing them to separate different lots of coffee and keep a closer eye on quality. The coffee is farmed at high altitudes in rich soil and most producers employ traditional practices, such as intercropping to provide shade, which also reduces the risk of pests spreading and is better for soil quality. They also fertilise and control pests with organic techniques which they have practiced since time immemorial.
Taxonomy - 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.
Taxonomy - A Range of Sizes
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 relating to the altitude and temperature that coincide with its terrain.
Sensory - It Is What It Is
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.
Gastronomy - The Flavours Revealed
What are we picking up in the cup? Well, we’re getting some sweet Yirgacheffe signature notes of soft stone fruits like peach and apricot as well as some beautiful light, floral aromas especially of rich honeysuckle. 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 lovely rose notes in this coffee which also gives us a super sugared almond finish.