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Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe Aricha Gold Label

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Tasting Notes

Normally we rave about natural processed Ethiopians, but this washed coffee stands out because it is just so good and juicy. It has flavors of peach with the brightness of lemon and finishes with a creamy sweetness similar to a nice meringue. We decided to roast it medium to highlight the sweetness while also maintaining the complex fruited notes. Ethiopian beans have always been a favorite of ours here at Sagebrush, and this one does not disappoint!


Roast Level: City Plus (Medium)
Processing: Washed (Wet Process)
Region: Africa
Flavor Notes: Cream, Lemon, Peaches
Body: Juicy, Creamy, Complex
Classification: Gold Label
Recommended Brew Methods: Drip, Chemex
Country Region: Yirga Cheffe
Certification: Direct Trade
Farm: Various Smallholder Farms
Producer: Aricha Coffee Station
Varietal: Heirloom Cultivars
Altitude: 1500-2200m

Aricha Coffee Production:

This is a single station coffee from Aricha kebele in Yirga Cheffe. There are a few coffee stations in close proximity here, this with the name "Aricha" attached, and it's very close to Yirga Cheffe town. This grade 1 preparation means the coffee receives extra special attention, hand sorting from the drying tables to the final milled coffee, separating under and over-ripe coffee cherry and any defective beans. This extra work improves the overall cup quality and consistency from one cup to the next. Wet processing means that the outer skin and much of the fruit are removed with de-pulping machinery and then fermented (with and without water) to break down the fruity mucilage layer that's stuck to the seed then rinsed away with water. The coffee is then moved to raised drying tables, where it dries over the course of about 2 weeks. After a storage period, the coffee seed is hulled out in one step, removing all the dried skin, fruit and parchment layers at the same time. While this coffee doesn't exactly fit into our "Farm Gate" program (we didn't have the level of direct involvement with the station as we do with some coops), Ethiopia has instituted guaranteed prices to farmers in each region that are quite high. We can be sure this trickled down to the farmer. So in that sense, it satisfies the main tenet of Farm Gate, which is a very good thing.

Aricha carries a potent fragrance of sugar that's been lightly caramelized, hints of baking spices, and fresh berry. The wet grounds exude raw sugar sweetness, along with notes of floral stone fruits and peach blossom wafting in the steam. The cup flavors are clean and refined, sweet from start to finish, and body with buttery texture on the palate. The cup sweetness has a red honey flavor upfront, which falls away to fruit notes of ripe nectarine, lemon meringue, and fruit jams. The cup complexity builds as the coffee cools, a spiced sweetness pointing to gingerbread, and my lightest roasts showing perfumed florals like honeysuckle, and jasmine to a lesser extent. The lemon hint that comes into view is tethered to a citric acidic impression that is vibrant, to say the least, especially at a light City roast level. This is an exceptional washed Ethiopia, light, bright, and utterly delicious.

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