We are introducing first fresh harvest of this year from Ethiopia, fully washed beans from the Gedeb region. Its origin is given by the Gedeo part, but of course, coffee does not worry about borders. It can also be described as a sibling of the Yirgacheffe bean. Most coffee cherries grown in Gedeb are a blend of local varieties – often called Ethiopian heirloom. The remaining varieties were bred at the Jimma Agricultural Research Centre (JARC). JARC has been successful in developing beans in Ethiopia that are both pest resistant and of a quality that can be seen in the cup at full strength.
Farmers in the region farm on less than 5 hectares of soil, which is why they count their coffee farms by trees rather than by area. Growing methods remain traditional. Coffee is grown as part of an integrated ‘coffee garden’ and mixed with other food crops. Most farms are also ecological by default. Farmers in Yirgacheffe typically use very little fertilizer and pesticides. Due to the size of the land the coffee is selectively hand-picked by the owners and their families. It is then delivered to a collection center or directly to a washing station.
At the station the coffee is sorted to remove damaged or unripe cherries and then the skin is removed using special equipment. It is then fermented for approximately 24 hours depending on weather conditions. Once fermentation is complete the beans are washed thoroughly and then sorted in washing channels, each batch being divided into two classes according to density. After sorting the coffee is sometimes soaked under clean spring water in tanks for 12-24 hours to remove all traces of fermented pulp. After washing the beans are transported to raised coffee beds where they are dried in the shade for 10-14 days until the moisture content reaches 12 %. During this time, the coffee is regularly turned over and hand-sorted several times to remove damaged or discoloured beans. During the hottest hours of the day the parchment is covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying too quickly and overnight to prevent condensation from penetrating the drying parchment. The result of this work and love is a truly delicious cup of coffee.
Our baristas notes: We were looking forward to the fresh harvest from Ethiopia and we are very excited about it. Gedeb needs to be ground more coarsely as we are used to with other washed coffees from Ethiopia. We found it best on the V60 at around two minutes and forty-five seconds. We enjoyed its floral aroma and light sweet body where you can easily find notes of peach, hibiscus and meadow honey. The aftertaste is dominated by notes of jasmine. It is also great for coldbrew.