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About Ethiopia Yrgacheffe Reko Onancho Grade 1
New crop arrived in grainpro, May 2023. This grade 1 Yirgacheffe is at the top of its class.
This is the second season we are bringing in this fine example of a quality Yirgacheffe, having choseen in blind cuppings for this season and last. The first time, in April 2022, we attended a very large cupping of offerings by one of suppliers, perhaps a hundred coffees were there for tasting with a majority of them from Ethiopia. While cupping notes were taken and two coffees stood out from all of the others, this being one of them. About a month later we held a cupping in our offices of Yirgacheffe and Guji washed coffees and, is our custom, all cuppings are done blind so cup quality is the only criteria. Again, this coffee surfaced at the top and we bought the coffee. When it arrived in the US we received an arrival sample and placed it into another cupping we were having that day and for the third time this coffee rose to the top pick, delighting us all. We believe this is one of the best examples of washed Yirgacheffe we have seen in several years and we encourage you to acquire some while we have it. It is a bit more expensive but not much and worth every penny. This season Yirgacheffes were back on schedule,
This coffee comes from the Reko community and is processed at the Aricha Washing Station. This washing station receives cherry from four different communities: Aricha, Reko, Gersi, and Naga Singage. One thing that makes Aricha Washing Station unique is that lots from these different communities are processed separately in order to preserve unique characteristics. There are several factors that differentiate these coffees from one another. Altitude, soil type, family farming practices that go back generations, and differences in heirloom varieties each create a unique microclimate within each community.
The coffee processed at the Aricha washing station is typical Yirgacheffe coffee, meaning it is a mix of Kurume and Wolisho landraces and other disease-resistant cultivars. What gives Yirgacheffe coffee its unique taste is the high altitude which makes the trees work harder to produce fruit. As a result, Yirgacheffe coffees tend to have a fuller and more developed profile. The washing station produces both washed and natural coffee and has recently begun processing small batches of anaerobic coffee as well. Considering the washing station was non-functional just a few short years ago, it has already come an exceptionally long way. Aricha is now a recognized hub for Yirgacheffe coffee and lots from Aricha have consistently ranked high in tastings and auctions. However, never one to rest, Faysel and the Testi team are constantly striving for improvement. The next step is the installation of a five-ton Penagos machine that is more eco-friendly using less water, producing less waste, and non-polluting for the river and the environment around the washing station. The machine should be operational for the coming harvest and Faysel is looking forward to offering up an even better coffee product for export.
Pretty much all the farmers in this area are from southern Ethiopia's Gedeo ethnic group. They have lived in this area for as long as anyone can remember and have grown coffee here commercially since at least the 1920s. They are experienced farmers who usually farm on small, family-owned plots of land rarely exceeding two hectares in area. These "home gardens" are also home to staple crops and indigenous forest trees and experts believe they have helped preserve the region's plant diversity. Gedeo farmers usually tend their fields with the help of their wives and children.
Reko is a community that lives up in the Reko mountain area in Yirgacheffe's Kochere woreda (district). The altitude is higher here - ranging from 1950 to 2150 meters. The coffee varieties here are a mixture of Kurume, and other Ethiopian Heirlooms, and disease-resistant varieties. The Kurume is a well-known Ethiopian variety. In Guji, the Kurume variety goes by the name of the Kudhum variety. But in Yirgacheffe farmers call this the Kurume variety.
- Region: Yirgacheffe
- Woreda (district): Kochere
- Altitude: 1950 - 2150 meters
- Process: Fully washed
- Varieties: Kurume, Mixed Heirloom
- Producer: Faysel A. Yonis
Cup Characteristics: Classic powerful Yirgacheffe notes that are bright, sweet, fresh, very clean, citrusy, especially at the beginning of the crop year. Hints of melon. Signature exotic spice notes that only come through with select lots such as this one. Chocolate body. Crisp with lingering finish. Particularly complex lot of Ethiopian coffee, wonderful to begin with but further enhanced by extreme sorting.
Roasting Notes: FC is a nice level for this coffee, taking it up to but not pushing fully into second crack. Or, at City+ the floral/lemony character is better preserved while the body will be a bit reduced. This coffee is interesting over a range of roasts and profiles.
Ethiopia coffee facts:
Population (2020): 115 Million People
Domestic Consumption: 1.5 Million bags per year
Coffee Export: 1.5 Million Bags of 60 Kg. (132.29 lb.)
Cultivated Area: 400,000 Hectares (988,000 Acres)
-- Unwashed: October to March
-- Washed: end of July to December
Arabica Introduced: The birthplace of coffee. Oldest
recognized country of origin for uncultivated Arabica species.
331,130 (94%) Smallholdings (less than or equal to 2.47 acres)
19,000 (6%) Government
Washed: Sidamo, Yirgacheffe, Limu, Bebeka
Unwashed: Harrar, Sidamo, Djimmah, Lekempti (wild coffee
Botanical Varietals: Numerous indigenous cultivars.
About 50% of the coffee produced in Ethiopia is consumed there as the population has a rich coffee drinking culture, replete with ceremony and tradition.