Banko Gotiti is a community in the most south-eastern part of Yirgacheffe, bordering the region of Hambela in Guji. Unsurprisingly, the profile of coffees from this area tend to be a hybrid between the two regions, and is likely a reason why they are so sought after. This single community lot from Banko Gotiti was processed at the Worka Chelbessa washing station being run by producer Negusse Debela and his company SNAP.
Negusse Debela has not been in the coffee industry long. Nugusse is known in Ethiopia as a computer guy, running a large successful computer part import company. While coffee does not seem like a natural leap, Nugussie was inspired on trip to Minnesota where at a cafe he ordered a pour-over that changed his whole mindset. At that moment he realized the potential of coffee in his home country and upon his return he got right to work. Nugusse started off by touring coffee processing sites throughout southern Ethiopia to understand the farming and processing better. From that initial tour, Nugusse was determined to set his company SNAP on a course to be one of the best quality exporters in Ethiopia. To do this Nugusse started by hiring Abenezer Asafaw, an energetic young coffee professional as his quality and coffee manager. Nugusse - with Abenezer by his side - have since bought land for SNAP to process coffee themselves, but have also started managing processing sites in Nensebo, Yirgacheffe, and Guji. In early 2019, SNAP finished the final touches on their own export dry mill, giving them full control of their product and quality.
Floral, Berry, Juicy
The coffees from Gedeb in southern Yirgacheffe are famous for their balance of floral/citrus and fruit, with the fruit notes normally leaning towards berry. This community specific separation is a classic example of coffees from Gedeb. Look for light raspberry and blackberry notes that balance out the citric and light honeysuckle-floral characteristics.
The Worka Chelbessa washing station that processed this single community lot from Banko Gotiti, utilizes the traditional underwater fermentation popular in Ethiopia. The coffee is fermented underwater for approximately 24-48 hours, and soaked in clear water for about 2 hours. After the short soaking period, the coffee is dried on raised beds for approximately 10-14 days.
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). However, the name Yirgacheffe became 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 though, 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; Dilla, Dilla Zuria, Bule, Wenago, Yirgacheffe, Kochere, and Gedeb.
Gedeb is the southern most woreda (district) of the Gedeo Zone, and in comparison to other areas, coffee is somewhat newer to this area. Many farms here have only been growing coffee for 1 or 2 generations, and much of the coffee is only 20-30 years old. Farms in this area tend to be slightly larger than in the northern part of Yirgacheffe, but are still relatively small- averaging around 1.5 -2 hectares, however a few larger farms that are 5-20 hectares do exist.
The Gedeb woreda is home to the coffee producing kebeles (communities) Worka Chelbessa, Worka Sakaro, Banko Dhadhato, Halo Hartume, Harmufo, Gedeb Gubita, Gedeb Galcha, Banko Chelchele, and Banko Gotiti. Fairly recently, the political boundaries of Gedeb grew to include communities north of Gedeb, that were formally a part of Kochere. Those communities are: Mora Layo, Mora, Bisha, Geshe Jeba, Abel, Kedida Gubeta, and Gora Dibandi. These kebeles do not produce a lot of coffee due to their extreme elevation often over 2400 meters.