Episode 398 on Monday the 27th of June, 2016. Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Chelelektu Washed.

This washed Yirgacheffe shows the diversity of this amazing region which holds some of the oldest plant stock in the world.

Buying from Ethiopia continues to be a challenge for us, but the cupping table continues to show us some amazing coffees. However, buying through the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange continues to be difficult if you require some traceability or back story with the coffees, you have to become a detective...good job I'm becoming quite good at spotting the clues!

This coffee comes from around 600 smallholders who have approximately 2 hectares of land each and hand pick the cherries, and is grown at around 1,850 - 1,950 metres above sea level. These small holders then sell the freshly picked cherries to the Chelelektu mill where they are graded, sorted, depulped and then fermented underwater for between 36 - 48 hours, depending on temperature, humidity and other factors. Ethiopian fermentation times are generally longer than other African countries, as temperatures are generally cooler in the highlands of Ethiopia, due to Ethiopia’s more northerly latitudes.

Parchment is then sorted in washing channels, and placed onto raised African drying tables. The drying period generally lasts for up to 2 weeks, although standard drying is 7-10 days, until moisture level reaches 12% or lower.

In the cup this is very similar to last year; lemon with black tea and a wonderful floral edge, a super classic Yirgacheffe.

  • Country: Ethiopia
  • Region: Yirgacheffe 
- Area: Kochere Zone

  • Nearest Town: Chelelektu
  • Mill: Chelelektu
  • Varietal: Wild 
- Processing: Fully Washed dried on raised beds

  • Altitude: 1,850 - 1,950 m.a.s.l.

  • Producers: 650 farmers – smallholders with approx. 2 hectares each
  • Soil: pH 5.2 – 6.2, red brown, depth of over 1.5m
  • Rainfall: 1910 mm per year, 8 months rainy, 3-4 months dry


  • 30 June 2016, 10:32 am

    Roland Gifford says:

    Follow on to Roland’s daft fact.
    Cattle in Ethiopia (and Africa in general) aren’t for food/milk/etc. They are a status symbol. ‘Look at how many cows I have, I must be really important’. A complete waste of the limited resources they have there.

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