The famed Yirgacheffe coffees hail from the Yirgacheffe zone, south of Addis Ababa. Yirgacheffe is actually a geographical region which is divided into six woredas or districts: Wenago, Kochere, Yirgacheffe, Gedeb, Bule, and Dilla Zuria. While both washed and natural coffees are produced in this area, many people believe the washed coffees from Yirgacheffe in general represent some of the finest in the world. Most coffee producing countries export the majority of the product and do not consume coffee locally. However, this is not the case for the birthplace of coffee. Ethiopia consumes about 50% of its coffee production making it the largest consumer of coffee on the entire African continent.
Floral, Citrus, Stone Fruit
A combination of ideal climate, high elevation, and soil type make coffees from Yirgacheffe stand out. This lot is a Washed Grade 1 which is the highest standard for green classification meaning 0-3 visible defects.
A traditional underwater fermentation process that is popular in Ethiopia is used. Normal fermentation time ranges from 24 to 48 hours. After fermentation the coffee is dried on raised beds for 10 to 14 days. Special attention is paid to keep the parchment protected during drying.
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 from 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 woreda (district). However, the name Yirgacheffe became synonymous for coffees coming from a much greater area than just the town or the woreda. Today, Yirgacheffe 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 SNNPR 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.