Ethiopia is known as the birthplace of coffee. There are more than 1.1 million coffee farmers (smallholders) representing 95% of the production. The varieties are referred to collectively as Ethiopian Heirloom, which is a myriad of local native Typica hybrids and new improved varietals based on the old strains. The two main growing areas are in the west and south. Most coffees are organic by default.
Yirgacheffe is known for its clean, floral and acidity-driven washed coffees and “high quality” sundried with genuine and unique fruit and berry flavors. Most of the Cooperatives in the area are Organic and/or Fair-trade certified. There are mainly small family plots of both recently planted trees of improved varietals and traditional old varieties. Organic fertilizer is common, pruning less common. All cooperatives in Ethiopia belong to a Union that is the seller and exporter of the coffee. They also take care of dry milling and grading before exports. Most Yirgacheffe Cooperatives belongs to the Yirgacheffe union, but in this case the Cooperative is under the Oromia Union.
For more information on Ethiopia, see our Ethiopia origin page
Cooperative: Negelle Gorbitu
Zone: Borena, Yirgacheffe
Woreda/Local municipality: Abaya
Altitude: Coffee grown at 1900 – 2000 masl
Producers: About 2000 smallholders.
Varietals: Ethiopian Heirloom. Improved varietals and native coffee of forest origin transferred to family smallholder plots and gardens. In this case they refer to it as Yirgacheffe type.
Grade: Screen 14 and up.
Production: Pulped and wet fermented, graded in washing channels, soaked in water, sundried.
Process: Cherries are hand sorted for unripes and overripes by the farmers before they go in to production. A 4 disc Aagaarde pulper removes the skin and pulp. The coffees are then fermented under water for 24-36 hours, dependent on the weather conditions. It’s then graded in washing channels in to two grades based on density. It is then soaked under clean water in tanks for 12-24 hours.
Drying: Sun dried 10 – 15 days days on African drying beds on hessian cloths. Coffees are covered in plastic during midday and at night.
Soil: Volcanic deposits, rich in minerals and nitrogen.
Notes: The coffee is organic certified. Negelle Gorbitu is a cooperative under the Oromia Union on the outskirts of the more producer-dense Gedeo zone. They have improved their quality standards with great success in recent years. They are dry milled, sorted and prepared for exports at one of the more modern dry mills in Ethiopia.
Cupping notes: Jasmine, coffee flower, black tea and citric aromas. Spicy with pointed acidity profile. Has a range of classic Yirgacheffe flavors like bergamot, hints of floral black tea, jasmine, rosehip and lemon. It is transparent, lively and delicate with highly complex fruit notes, great intensity and juiciness.
Download information: Negelle Gorbitu fact sheet