Wegida is the kebele (village) where the first washing station operated by the Idido Cooperative in Yirgacheffee is located. Since this first washing station, the Idido Cooperative has grown and now operates 3 washing stations, the other two located in the kebeles of Ela Tenecha and Gerse. Each coffee from the Idido Cooperative's different wasting stations is normally kept separate, and this selection from Wegida was a standout this year. Even though this lot is a Grade 2, don't let that fool you, this coffee is prepared and cups better than most Grade 1 lots we have seen.
The Idido Cooperative joined the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (YCFCU) in 2003. The 1,220 registered members of the cooperative span 7 different kebeles (communities): Aricha, Bowicha, Direto, Ela Tenecha, Gerse, Haro Badami, and Wegida. The Idido Cooperative has been one of the strongest cooperatives under YCFCU, and have grown a lot the last 10 years. In 2015 Idido built their 2nd washing station in the high elevation kebele of Ela Tenecha. In 2016, Idido expanded again by buying a large washing station in the kebele of Gerse. Today, the cooperative operates these three washing stations, making washed and natural offerings.
Floral, Stone Fruit, Lemon
This is one of the more complex coffees from Yirgacheffee you can find. This coffee is bright - with a pointed lemon, citric, slightly lime-like acidity. The mouthfeel is very juicy, adding to vibrancy of the profile. The flavors though are what set it a part from other coffees in the area; notes that range from peach and apricot, to light berry, melon, and tropical fruit, compliment a strong floral-jasmine note throughout, making it a very complex coffee.
The Wegida washing station under the Idido Cooperative utilizes the traditional underwater fermentation popular in Ethiopia. The coffee is fermented underwater for approximately 36 hours, and then dried on raised beds for approximately 10-14 days. *Other washing stations under Idido Cooperative process coffee slightly different.
Yirgacheffe is famous for putting washed coffee on the map in Ethiopia decades ago. People fell in love with the floral and citric profiles that the washing process brought out in coffees of Yirgacheffe, and almost instantly this small town became famous.
Southern Ethiopia, and Yirgacheffe in particular can get very confusing when figuring out the geographical areas and names. Yirgacheffe is actually the name of a small town, AND the name of a small wordea (district). The Idido Cooperative, is located just outside the town and is also in the district of Yirgacheffe. This said, the name Yirgacheffe is synonymous for coffees coming from a much greater area than just the town or the woreda. Today, Yirgacheffee coffee is mostly from the political boundary area called the Gedeo Zone (named after the Gedeo ethic group). Notably, a very small amount of coffee labeled as Yirgacheffe comes from the Oromia region that borders the western edge of Gedeo. The Gedeo Zone is broken down into 7 woredas, those are; Dilla, Dilla Zuria, Bule, Wenago, Yirgacheffe, Kochere, and Gedeb.
The Yirgcheffe Wordea (district) is in the middle of the Yirgacheffe coffee producing area/region. From the town of Yirgacheffe, the Idido cooperative is just a few kilometers to the east. The elevation increases dramatically going from just under 1900 meters to over 2300 meters, with even a few farms with coffee over 2400. This impressive geography has made the small town of Idido (for which the cooperative is named) famous for its quality.
Farmers in Yirgacheffe, are very small having on average between 1 and 2 hectares - of which around half of their land is planted with coffee. The farms are often classified as "garden" productions systems, due to their size and the fact that often these owners are growing other substance crops. Most farmers in Gedeo alongside their coffee grow enset, a type of false banana that is used to make the a traditional bread called, "cocho".
New in 2019
Right before the 2018/19 season began one of the largest organic certification agencies decide to not continue working with growers in Ethiopia. This left YCFCU and others looking for solutions. Unfortunately, YCFCU was not able to have another agency certify the cooperatives under them, and for this season the coffees do not carry organic certification, even though the farms have not changed anything. We are looking forward to working with YCFCU in 2019/2020 on buying their coffee as certified organic again.