Aricha

Composed & impactful. Expect aromatic notes of jasmine, kaffir lime & gooseberry, with a sweetness like honey cake & apricot jam. 

Out of the fourteen countries we explore to keep our range tasting sweet, clean and fresh throughout the year, Ethiopia remains the origin we source most coffee from. It is hard to pick a favourite, but when hard-pressed by friends, family or journalists, it's likely we'd say Ethiopia, in particular coffees from Yirgacheffe. As well as being reliably clean, sweet, delicate and aromatic, we find the great lots from Yirgacheffe and other highland areas of Ethiopia usually take several months to become fully expressive. Hence waiting until we're into Autumn to release our first Ethiopian coffee of the season; one of four we selected after visiting Ethiopia earlier this year. 

Towards the end of January, we spent around eight hours driving south from Addis Ababa, through the town of Dilla, to arrive in the dusty, rustic landscape of Yirgacheffe, home to some of our favourite coffees to come out of Ethiopia. One of our importing partners, Nordic Approach, has a sister company called Tropiq who operate on the ground in several countries in which they have a strong focus, including Ethiopia. We cupped plenty of very fresh coffee samples, but also toured with Tropiq to meet some of the people behind the coffees we bought last year, as well as potential new partnerships we could form this year. Within Ethiopia's Southern Nations, Nationalities & Peoples Region (SNNPR) lies the Gedeo zone, encompassing Yirgacheffe town. 

As Yirgacheffe is so famed for producing high-quality coffee, it is often the case that traceability stops there; you're buying coffee from Yirgacheffe, and that's all you need to know! There are, however, many distinct woredas and kebeles (small townships and communes), co-operatives and washing stations producing their own unique coffees within Yirgacheffe. This particular lot, named ''Aricha'' after the kebele within which the smallholders are growing the coffee, was processed at the Testi Adorsi washing station, owned by Faysel Abdosh Yonis of Testi Coffee. This year they invested in more drying beds and improved protocols to track each lot so they can be assessed and kept separate at every stage. This means the very best coffees are isolated and can reach an extra premium in the market place. The group also cover school expenses for local families and are in the process of building their own primary school as some children have to walk long distances to their nearest school. Plans to extend the availability of electricity in the area, as well as improving local roads, will ensure more families live more comfortable lives than they currently do. 

The smallhold farmers themselves grow traditional, local varieties as well as improved landrace selections, notably Kurume, Dega and Wolisho. Whilst they may apply some organic fertiliser to their plants, it is not common practice to cut the trees back. The high altitude at which the cherries are grown and processed means that everything happens slowly, from cherry maturation through to fermentation and drying. These slow processes may go some way to explaining why the flavour profile takes more time to develop and bloom, as well as more time passing before the coffee fades. We're really excited by this year's Ethiopian selections and hope you enjoy this first one from Aricha.

PRODUCERS

700 small-scale coffee farmers

HARVEST
January 2019

PROCESS

Depulped & fermented under water 24-36hrs, washed & soaked 12-24hrs, dried on raised beds.

VARIETY

Kurume, Dega & Wolisho

REGION

Yirgacheffe, Gedeo Zone, SNNPR

COUNTRY

Ethiopia

ALTITUDE

1,950 - 2,150 metres

ARRIVAL

June, 2019