Yirgacheffe produces what is widely considered to be the finest coffees in Southern Ethiopia. Beloved around the world for its bright, juicy, and complex aromas of flowers, citrus and berries.
Farming in Yirgacheffe:
The town of Yirgacheffe (Irgachefe) is in Ethiopia’s Sidama (or “Sidamo”) area at an elevation of about 1,900 meters above sea level and is the administrative center of the coffees-growing district. Yirgacheffe coffee farmers are often members of the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (YCFCU), which comprises 23 different member cooperatives, which consists of over 40,000 farmers. Members of the YCFCU are exempt from the Ethiopian Coffee Exchange (ECX), which allows them to receive a premium for their premium coffees, including Fair Trade and Organic certifications.
Some Yirgacheffe farmers may also be members of the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU), which more generally comprises small farmers from the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Consolidation of the processing, sorting and sales functions allows for greater market efficiencies and more control over the reputation of Ethiopian coffees. It allows for more stability for the farmers by spreading out payments throughout the year, which is largely beneficial to farmers who have yearly growing and harvesting seasons.
Yirgacheffe coffee is a wet processing (washed) coffee grown at elevations from 1,700 to 2,200 meters above sea level, and is the considered the best high grown coffee in southern Ethiopia, an exotic coffee region known for fine coffees. These elevations qualify Yirgacheffes as Strictly High Grown (SHG) / Strictly Hard Bean (SHB) coffees, where coffees grow slowly due to the altitude, allowing additional time for the tree to deliver nutrients to the coffee and develop the best flavors.
A fine Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee displays a bright acidity along with intense, clean tastes and a complexity of floral notes in the aroma, sometimes with a hint of toasted coconut. Cupping notes frequently mention the aftertaste being vibrant, and the coffee may exhibit undertones of berry or wine.
Some premium Yirgacheffes tasting notes indicate it can have a slightly nutty or chocolaty. quality. Others display subtle tones of tangerine and citrus. These qualities make it a preferred varietal for a refreshing iced coffee.
Growing Altitude: 1,700 – 2,200 meters above sea level
Arabica Variety: Heirloom Varietals
Harvest Period: October – December
Milling Process: Washed, Sun-dried
Aroma: Floral, Sweet
Flavor: Complex, Fruity, Tea, Floral, Lemon