Gardelli - Ethiopia - Aricha 250g
DATA PRAJIRII: 12.02.2021
*Terroir Best Lot*
QUALITY SCORE: 89.75
Blueberry / Mango / Orange / Strawberry
Suggested for espresso and filter.
Several Small Farmers
1950 - 2150 masl
ROAST PROFILE BY
THE STORY BEHIND
As soon as you pass the city of Dilla, you’ll notice the road roughening. A bumpy A8-highway, that feels like a country-side mountain bike trail, takes you to the Aricha mountains. Then a curly rocky road leads you to the gate of Aricha washing station. The famous Naga Singage mountain looms over the station and the Wogida river creates a continuous serene rush of water, only interrupted by singing Gedeo women stirring parchment and coffee cherry.
If you’re looking for floral and complex Yirgacheffe lots, Aricha is the place. The recently revived washing station collects coffee cherries from Yirgacheffe’s most potent coffee forests. The washing station provides an income for surrounding communities.
But it hasn’t always been this way. The Aricha station, in the words of the current manager, was a dump a neglected, abandoned, and the out-of-business station that had not processed a single cherry for years on end. Grass covered the entire terrain, and the buildings were decaying. The surrounding smallholders had to deliver their cherries to another washing station further up the road - a situation far from, given that farmers had to bring the cherries on foot or by mule. But a big change came just a few months before the harvest of 2018, when the local communities met up with a new potential station owner, Faysel Yonis, founder of Testi Coffee. Faysel shared his plan to make Aricha a hub for quality Yirgacheffe coffee. After the traditional coffee ceremony, the elders expressed their enthusiasm and gave their blessing. Faysel’s vision goes beyond coffee and business: in addition to reviving the station, Faysel has started to work with the community to build an electricity network for surrounding villages. Testi Coffee is also coordinating the construction of a school and the provision of access to clean water.
Ethiopian Heirloom, why the generic name? It's estimated that there are somewhere in-between six and ten thousand coffee varietals in Ethiopia. And due to this colossal figure, there hasn’t been the genetic testing to allow buyers to distinguish the varietal. With the cross pollination that naturally happens in the wild, the name ‘Ethiopian Heirloom’ exists as a catch-all phrase to describe this happenstance. However, that really makes Ethiopian quite a mystery – and an interesting mystery as each village or town could potentially have a different varietal which could carry very unique properties.
THE FERMENTATION PROCESS
Dry process seems simple: pick the fruit, lay it out in the sun until it turns from red to brown to near-black, and then hull off the thick, dried outer layer in one step to reveal the green bean. It is a method suited to arid regions, where the sun and heat can dry the seed inside the intact fruit skin.
It's often referred to as "natural coffee" because of its simplicity, and because the fruit remains intact and undisturbed, a bit like drying grapes into raisins. Since it requires minimal investment, the dry process method is a default to create cheap commodity-grade coffee in areas that have the right climate capable of drying the fruit and seed.
But it's a fail in humid or wet regions. If the drying isn't progressing fast enough, the fruit degrades, rots or gets covered with mould.
Dry-processed coffees can also be wildly inconsistent. If you want a cleanly-fruited, sweet, intense cup, dry process (DP) takes more hand labor than wet process. Even the most careful pickers will take green unripe or semi-ripe coffee off the branch as they pick red, ripe cherry. If these are not removed in the first days of drying, the green turns to brown that is hard to distinguish from the ripe fruit.