Not only do we have a Fare Trade Organic coffee from Ethiopia this year, but this particular lot from Negele Gorbitu has that classic, floral Yirga Cheffe cup profile that we look for. Most Ethiopian coops we deal with (if not all) are made up of farm lots that use traditional, organic practices. But the fact of the matter is that it's expensive to become a certified cooperative, and therefore out of reach for many of them. The folks at Negele Gorbitu have had the good fortune of obtaining such a certification with the help of Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU). And with the extra profits they earn through FTO certification, they've implemented many investments in their community including a school that serves well over 300 students as well as a medical facility. The lot is made up of many tiny farms in the area, that span altitude from 1,800 - 2,300 meters above sea level.
This has a surprising profile in that not only is it sweet and floral, but there's also a more aggressive chocolate character than other Yirga Cheffes in both light and dark roasts. The dry fragrance has a bit of cocoa powder and a sweet smell of lemon wafers and caramel butter. This transpires to supremely sweet aromatics with dark toffee, butterscotch, vanilla, kumquat and tangerine citrus. The break releases a smell of bergamot, and a floral note of lemon grass. The cup has a crisp acidity that is up front and with a candied citrus sweetness. City+ roasts have orange essence, lemon, and bergamot - characteristics we consider "classic" from a Yirga Cheffe. It's both sweet and clean all the way to the finish, and with a powder ginger note. This coffee is creamy in body and mouthfeel, giving the acidity an almost citrus cream-soda effect. Dark roasts have lots of developed sugar flavors and maintain the delicate floral notes found in lighter roasts. This coffee is fairly versatile from very light, City roasts, up into the Full City range. Beyond that and the delicate profile is compromised with roast flavors dominating.