Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Aricha G1 Washed Coffee
Updated: Oct 20, 2020
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Aricha G1 coffee is a single origin specialty grade coffee bean from Kebel Aricha coffee mill Yirgacheffe, Southern region in Ethiopia. This coffee is G1, washed processed and roasted in Light medium and Medium dark level. Light medium roast gives a citrus acidity and smooth body. Syrupy, orange, grapefruit flavor with floral, black grape aroma. Medium Dark roast gives citrus acidity and round body. Black tea, caramel, honey flavor with floral, chamomile aroma.
Yirgacheffe is famous for producing consistently clean stone fruit coffees. Farmers deliver their ripe cherries to the Kebel Aricha mill. Southern Ethiopia coffees like this one are largely produced from distinctive indigenous Ethiopian varieties of Arabica long grown in their respective regions. Processed by the wet or washed method, in which skin and fruit flesh are removed from the beans or seeds before they are dried. Once sorted the beans are put on the drying raised beds and turned for four to six weeks in an effort to minimise ferment. The dried cherry is then taken to their mill 5 hours away in Addis Ababa where they are hulled and bagged. This coffee is Ethiopian Heirloom variety and grown at an altitude of 1900 to 2100 meters above sea level.
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Aricha is sourced from 700 small coffee producers organized around the Kebel Aricha coffee mill, located in the Gedeo Zone of the Yirgacheffe district. The Gedeo Zone is named after the Gedeo people who are indigenous to this area. Ripe cherries, typica and indigenous varieties, are delivered to the Kebel Aricha mills. Coffee is laid on raised beds for 12 to 15 days depending on the weather. The beans are transported in parchment to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to be milled and bagged prior to export.
Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee and one of the world’s top coffee producers and consumers. With its rich heritage and outstanding quality, Ethiopian coffee is among the best in the world.
The town of Yirgacheffe (Irgachefe) is in Ethiopia's Sidama (or "Sidamo") area bordering the Great Rift Valley at an elevation of about 1,900 meters above sea level and is the administrative center of the coffees-growing district. The Yirgacheffe region is renowned for its wet-processed coffees with a rich body, fine acidity, and an intense flavor.
Top grade Yirgacheffe have a clean taste and bright acidity accompanied by complex floral and citrus notes such as jasmine and lemongrass. Its flavor profile is similar to that of Panamanian Geisha coffee. Connoisseurs consider Yirgacheffe to be one of the best Arabica coffees in the world.
Washed or Wet-processing
The first wet-processing coffee mills in the country were set in Yirgacheffe in 1972. Wet processing, where the fruit is removed from the bean within 12-24 hours after harvesting, is becoming increasingly common. Over half of Ethiopian coffee is currently being wet-processed.
Ethiopian washed coffees are known for their elegant, complex flavor with floral, herbal, and citrus notes. They are lighter and drier on the palate than naturally processed coffees and have an almost tea-like delicacy. Their body is not too strong and they usually reveal a mild and pleasant acidity.
The Story of Ethiopia coffee begins with a Legend
Sometime around 850 AD, a young goatherd named Kaldi used to take his goats to graze at pastures in the Kaffa province. One day, after having eaten red berries from a nearby shrub, the animals started jumping excitedly. Kaldi decided to taste a few berries himself. He too felt elated and energized.
Kaldi shared his discovery with monks at a local monastery. They quickly realized that consuming the berries could help them stay awake during long hours of prayer. To preserve the flavor of the powerful beans for longer, they roasted and soaked them in hot water and coffee was born.
Ethiopia first started exporting coffee in the 15th century. Coffee was brought by Somali merchants to Yemen where Sufi mystics drank it so that they could better concentrate on their chanting. A couple of centuries later, Ethiopian Orthodox Church banned coffee altogether. Ethiopians only went back to consuming coffee in the late 19th century thanks to Emperor Menelik II who himself was fond of the beverage.
Flavor Profile of Ethiopian Coffee
Ethiopia boasts between six and ten thousand coffee varieties. In fact, there are so many coffee types that the vast majority is yet to be classified. Most coffee is simply labeled as Ethiopian heirloom, an umbrella term to describe all Ethiopian coffee variants. Specialty buyers usually differentiate coffees from Ethiopia by their region, altitude, and cupping score, rather than by their variety.
The most widely grown coffee type in Ethiopia is mild, aromatic Arabica coffee (Coffea Arabica) which accounts for about 70% of the world’s coffee production. Arabica has its origins in Ethiopia and is believed to be the first species of coffee to be cultivated.
Today, more than 90% of Arabica coffee’s genetic material can be found in Ethiopia. Ethiopian coffee is recognizable by a light to medium body, relatively low acidity, and bright fruity or floral flavors depending on the region they are grown in and the processing method.
Climate and Cultivation of Ethiopia Coffee
Ethiopia’s location is endowed with mild temperatures and plenty of rain—the optimal climate for growing coffee. Thanks to the lush vegetation, Ethiopian farmers don’t have to plant any additional trees to provide shade for their coffee trees. In fact, coffee-growing conditions in Ethiopia are so good that agricultural chemicals in cultivation are rarely needed. At the same time, climate change is already showing its negative effects on Ethiopia’s coffee cultivation. In the past decades, the weather has become more unpredictable and extreme, with higher temperatures, less rainfall, and longer droughts, making harvest seasons less predictable.
If you are looking for a cup of the finest coffee in the world, choose delicate floral Yirgacheffe Aricha!
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