This coffee was a selection from our last trip to Ethiopia, one that happens to be from the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange ("ECX" - the commission in charge of exchanging most exported commodities, including coffee). The basic way that it works is, unless you're part of a private cooperative, individual farmers submit their coffee to the exchange where it is graded based on processing and cup quality. Unfortunately, by the time they reach the market, they're also mostly stripped of provenance and given a general categorization instead. Most of the coffee we buy from Ethiopia belongs in the category of cooperative coffees, and we love that in addition to cooperatives offering really nice coffees, they also give us an inside look at the work done at the farm and wet mill levels. But every now and then we'll cup coffees from the ECX that are so good, we simply can't pass on the purchase. This is one of those coffees. We were able to obtain some very general regional info on the lot, and that it is from the area of Kochore. I'm pretty sure you'll agree, this coffee speaks for itself. One of the best we tasted from this region.
This is a "classic" Yirga Cheffe all the way. Floral jasmine, bright citrus, extreme cleanliness_‹_it's all here, and in high volume! The dry fragrance give off such a perfumed scent of jasmine and sweet pea flowers, which are highlighted by cardamom spice accent, and smell of lemonade. Hot water builds the "freshness" aspect of florals, like fresh cut flowers, with a sweet lime smell, and herbal tea infusions. As a brewed coffee, this Ethiopia delivers the goods. Even when hot, a floral grace note prevailed in both our City and City++ roasts. There is a focused, raw cane juice sweetness in light roasts, giving way to a mixed fruit basket of flavors: limeade, peach nectar, dried apricot, and white grape juice name a few. Our darkest roast was at the outer edge of Full City, and proved to be super juicy in flavor and mouthfeel. A flavor of dark grape juice (think Welch's) lingers, rue-like herbal hints, and with star jasmine continuing to shine through Acidity is high, citric, and like lemon spritz, and the finish is so clean. And there's no denying the origin with this coffee, a competition-level Ethiopia, and true beauty as brewed coffee - just what a Yirga Cheffe ought to be!