Coffee Arabica blossomed in the highlands of Southern Ethiopia, and the country’s farmers still have a completely unique bank of cultivars and landraces available to them compared to the rest of the coffee world. These plants play an important role in the distinct and much-loved flavour profiles Ethiopian coffee has.
In Yirga Chefe, one of the most revered growing regions of Ethiopia, producers often grow several local land races like Kurume and Wolisho, along with JARC selections like Fayate. Farm sizes are small at usually around two hectares so producers group their coffee together. 650 producers are signed up to deliver their harvested cherry with the Worka Wuri wet mill in Gedeb town.
Gedeb is an incredibly high town that sits at 2200 metres above sea level. The cooler climate of this altitude makes coffee grow slow, fixing sugar in the fruit. It also means the fermentation of washed process coffee has to be extended for flavour development and at Worka Wuri this takes two full days before further soaking and drying. The result is a fresh, floral and effervescent coffee that represents so well the alluring quality of Yirga Chefe.
Worka Wuri is a coffee that combines classic zesty bergamot with perfumed stone fruit aspects so representative of the region, making it a great place to start with this style of coffee before trying more exotic single producer coffees. Underneath these primary fruit like flavours we find delicate elderflower florals and a subtle red berry-like characteristic. Supporting milk chocolate and caramel begin to come through more as the coffee cools adding further weight to the final favours. As with all great grade one Yirgacheffe's there is a medium to high intensity complex acidity reminiscent of grapes. This adds structure, effervescence and persistence on the finish and balances off the sweetness in the cup.
We've roasted this coffee light with filter brewing in mind and recommend enjoying this coffee without milk. The delicate florality, peach and bergamot notes are more prominent here. Moving onto French Press or Aeropress milk chocolate and brown spice add more weighty flavours supported by a delicious creaminess to the mouthfeel.
Ras Tafari: that was the birth name of Ethiopia's 225th and last emperor, who was born on 23 July 1892, and took the regal name Haile Selassie I when he was crowned. For many considered also as Rastafarian Messiah. All our Ethiopian beans (now and in the past) are represented by his proud portraits.
Nearly 8,000 miles separate Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and Kingston, Jamaica, but a link between them was forged by a number of poor black Jamaicans who believed Ras Tafari’s coronation was the fulfillment of a prophecy and that he was their redeemer, the messiah written of in the Bible’s Book of Revelation: “King of Kings, Lord of lords”. They believed he would arrange for a deliverance, which, as they saw it, involved a miraculous transformation. They would be spirited away from their lives of poverty in the Caribbean and relocated in Africa, the land of their ancestors and their spiritual epicentre.
illustration by lukasz