High mountains in the region of Yirgacheffe located in East Africa are covered by green, luscious forests. Various monkeys live a quiet life in the crown of the wild, tall trees. Beneath the tree crowns are shade, and the air is a bit cooler up here. Just like wine, factors from the terroir play a huge part in developing aromas and exciting flavours in the coffee berry. The many elements the nature of Yirgacheffe brings, help develop just that. We’ll talk more about this later.
Aman Adinew and his two brothers run their company, Metad Agricultural Development. Metad produce both washed and sundried coffee in various regions in Ethiopia. They have a washing station and dry mill located in Gedeb close to a small village named Halo Beriti. With their family’s heritage in mind, they make exceptional coffee by the traditions of Ethiopia.
Small farmers from Gedeb deliver coffee berries to the Halo Beriti mill. From the steep and bumpy roads, donkeys will carry the harvest of the day to the mill, where the coffee is processed.
Looking into their jute bags on the back of the donkeys, you will find red, ripe berries. These are varieties of Bourbon, Typica as well as hybrids. If you ask a farmer, he may not refer to the specific variety as the globally accepted name, but by the names, they locally call the coffee tree. Therefore, the varieties in Ethiopia are often classified as Heirloom.
Now, back to how wild nature creates those flavours that make Ethiopian coffee so special! As I just mentioned, farmers are growing a mix of Bourbon and Typica, which also can turn into a hybrid in some cases. These varieties come in many different selections.
The Typica variety is a red berry which is a bit smaller than usual and longer. It loves shade from taller trees and high altitude. The higher up the mountain you go, the cooler the air gets. These conditions make it possible for the berry to slowly mature and develop sweet flavours balanced with great acidity. As opposed to getting direct sunlight and a warmer climate, the sunlight would ripen the berry too fast, and we would miss out on some great aromas.
The Bourbon variety is rounder and not quite as long as Typica. Bourbon berries love a climate, that is warmer and dryer and is often grown in the warmer Southeastern parts of Ethiopia. With this berry, you also obtain a good sweetness, but fewer complex aromas.
The trees are well looked after and extremely healthy. Metad is very structured about growing coffee, and have a number of young agronomists hired to maintain the coffee trees.
Coffee from Yirgacheffe has always been one of our favorites. You can expect a complex coffee with a delicate acidity. To highlight the fruity and floral aromas we have quickly roasted the coffee so it is very light. Each coffee has its own roast profile, to ensure an even roast every time.
For a change, it will now figurate on our espresso menu. If you are going for the espresso, it will be lighter as to how we would normally roast espresso. It will be very delicate and light with an oily mouthfeel and high on floral aromas and fruitiness.