ETHIOPIA YIRGZ

Size

AFRICA / ARABIA - ETHIOPIA YIRGZ

Zone: Yirgacheffe - Kochere

Elevation: 1800-2000 m

Variety: 7110, 711140 & 7114265 (heirloom varieties)

Process: Washed and sun-dried on raised beds. Triple sorted.

Notes: Jasmine, Lemongrass & Green Apple

DETAILS

This new washed Yirgacheffe is one of a limited number of coffees in the world to be graded as “zero defect”.

A “defect” is detected while the coffee is still green and be can be something as minor as insect damage and chipped beans or as serious as moldy, phenolic, or unripe beans. Most coffees arrive with some minor defects and in order to be considered "Specialty", a coffee must contain no major (Category 1) defects in a 100gram sample.  It is allowed a number of minor (Category 2) defects and still pass as a specialty grade.  However, this YirgZ (zero) contains ZERO defects in a 100-gram sample, thanks to the meticulous triple sorting of workers.

It begins its journey like many washed process coffees in the mountains around the town of Kochere. The cherries are harvested by hand then pulped to remove the seeds which are soaked in water overnight and rinsed before being dried slowly on raised beds. 

First seeds are mechanically sorted by weight and density. Then mill workers, mostly women, pick through the beans by hand to remove ALL defects. Then they do it again. And then again. It’s laborious and intense. 

To show appreciation for this work, sorters are paid three times higher than the average wage. Workers say the extra income helps them support their communities and send their children to school, highlighting the importance of specialty coffee premiums and direct trading practices.

The coffee-growing region of Yirgacheffe is small but fertile, producing some of the world’s most well-known beans. This particular Yirg is one of a kind.

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