Our new, fresh crop natural processed Ethiopia for this season is from Yirgacheffe! Farmer Tilahun Gedo Dereso, with his wife Fanitu Beqele and family grow a mix of regional landrace varieties. That’s right, read on, there’s no more heirloom! This coffee has a milk chocolate sweetness, a soft ripe peach note and very mild citric acidity.
Located at around 1931 masl in Jemjemo in the Wonago region, the farm was inherited by Tilahun when he married his wife, keeping the tradition going from generation to generation. After harvesting between October and November the coffee is ‘natural’ processed at the Ayele Degu mill in Wonago.
As of last year, Ethiopia has started to open up in terms of the amount of information on traceability and variety we can get. With that, existing information has also been compiled into a book and more is sure to come. For now, we know a little more about the coffee and the farmers we buy from.
In this case this coffee was exported through a coffee agent - Yonas Hanifato, who connects the farmers, exporters and buyers together. This is completely new for Ethiopia and is a new option next the the coffee exchange and it also means we know where this coffee came from exactly.
We can now say a bit more about the varieties! This coffee is a mix of what we can now call local landrace varieties from the Gedeo region. These plants were most likely collected years ago from the local surrounding forests. The three varieties - Kurume, Wolesho, Dega are the names given to these indigenous trees. They are very common in the Gedeo area with most farmers growing at least two of them. The names come mostly from the locals: Dega means highland or cooler area in Amharic, Kurume was named after another fruit bearing tree that grows in the area as they both have something in common - they both have good yield of fruit but a small fruit size. Wolisho or Wolesho or Walichu as it can be known (The people of Guji, Gedeo and Sidama speak three different sub-languages of the kush language, which may explain all these possible spellings) is also named for a similar reason, the coffee tree also resembles the wolicho tree, but this time because of its large fruit and inconsistent yield! So there you have it. Things are changing for Ethiopian coffee!