Producer: Girma Shento, Fikadu Shento, Alemayehu Urdofa, Abiyot Ageze, and Mitekie Kalu Kejela - who work with approximately 900 small-holder coffee farmers.
Elevation: 1,950 - 2,150 MASL
Varieties: JARC selections (notably 74110 & 74112) & other Indigenous Landraces.
Harvest: October - January
Brothers Girma and Fikadu Shento, along with their partners; Alemayehu Urdofa, Abiyot Ageze, and Mitekie Kalu Kejela - came together to build a natural coffee processing site in the heart of Yirgacehffe. This site, based in the kebele (village) of Aricha, started as a fairly small operation with about 50 raised beds to dry coffee. Today, the site has tripled in size to 150 raised beds, and the Shento brothers and their partners are working with roughly 900 growers around Aricha.
Girma and Fikadu Shento are third generation coffee growers that grew up in Gedeo. Their grandfather Mr. Abo Gelgelo was a well known coffee grower and community mediator in Gedeo in the 1960's. Girma and Fikadu after many years of working in coffee, brought together a group of their friends and other coffee producers, to cooperatively invest in land to build a processing site.
The group works with the well known company Tadesse Desta to directly export their coffee, which they were able to start when the laws and regulations made the market more liberalized in Ethiopian in 2017.
Strawberry, Grape, Lemon
This small- dense screen size coffee packs a punch with berry tones that are bright, and turn to a sweet concord grape note as the cup cools. The lemon/citric acidity acts as an anchor to the cup, and keeps the fruit notes balanced.
Once coffee is delivered to the processing site, it is put on raised beds and sorted for ripeness. The ripe coffee cherries are turned throughout the day by hand to ensure even drying. The drying process takes roughly 15-20 depending on weather.
Yirgacheffe - Gedeo
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 the 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). Aricha is a kebele (village) located just outside the town of Yirgacheffe to the east.
It is also important to understand that 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), but a very small amount of coffee labeled as Yirgacheffe does 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 of Gedeo. The elevation from the town to the east, where Aricha is located, increases dramatically- going from just under 1900 meters to over 2300 meters. (With even a few farms with coffee over 2400.)
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 2018/19
This harvest was Atlantic Specialty's first year working with the Shento Brothers and their group through exporter Tadesse Desta. We have loved the coffees this year and are already making plans for the 2019/2020