This stunning Ethiopian impresses with a floral bouquet bursting with honeysuckle and jasmine in the cup while notes of peach, vanilla and Meyer lemon contribute to its flavor profile. Elegantly balanced, the Aricha is sourced from 650 family-owned farms organized around the Aricha coffee mill located in the Yirgacheffe district of the Gedeo Zone. Edido is the village, or microregion, that cultivates and processes this micro-lot. It is perhaps Ethiopia's most fabled "region" surrounded by some of the best terroir and growers in the country.
When Ethiopia's commodity exchange was established in 2008, exporters were forbidden from operating mills and farms. Consequently, Misty Valley, one of the country's most famous coffee brands, was sold and the site became Aricha, simply named for its administrative division. In fact, Yirgacheffe's renowned cup profile may be partly attributable to this very mill.
Coffee growers deliver their ripe cherries to the Aricha coffee mill station where the cherries are sorted and then pulped. After pulping, the beans are fermented for 36 to 48 hours and then washed. The wet beans in parchment are placed on raised drying beds in thin layers and turned every 2 to 3 hours during the first few days of the drying process. Depending on the weather, the beans are then dried for 10 to 12 days until the moisture content is reduced to 11.5 percent. They are then transported to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to be milled and bagged prior to export.
Coffees in Ethiopia are typically traceable to the washing station level where smallholder farmers--many of whom own less than 1/2 hectare of land and as little as 1/8 hectare on average--deliver cherry by weight to receive payment at a market rate. The coffee is sorted and processed into lots without retaining information about whose coffee harvest is in which bag or lot.
Over a number of years this region has developed a distinguished reputation for fine coffees, producing some of the most sought after microlots in the world. The combination of high altitude (up to 2,200m in some areas), fertile red-brown clay soil roughly 1.5 meters deep, consistent and plentiful rains, and an abundance of local knowledge all contribute to the high regard paid to Yirgacheffe coffees. The indigenous 'heirloom varietals' that grow wild in Ethiopia are responsible for the unique flavor notes which make for an unusual but beautifully refined cup characterized by strong citric acidity, sweet chocolate and floral/herbal hints of jasmine, lemon and bergamot.
Grower: 650 producers organized around Cherab na Betesbu | Aricha MIll
Variety: Indigenous cultivars
Region: Aricha, Gedeo Zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Regional State, Ethiopia
Altitude: 1900 - 2100m
Process: Fully washed after pulping, fermented underwater for 48 hours, then soaked for 48 hours in clean spring water, and dried in the sun on raised beds