Coffee Category: Bright
Process: Natural and dried on African beds
What to expect
This coffee has to be one of most popular coffees we have ever offered and as a result it makes a return every year. What makes this coffee so great?? It is full of pure blueberry goodness and no matter how you brew this coffee the blueberry notes will shine through.
Producer: Various Smallholder Farmers
Region: Yirgacheffe, Gedeo
Altitude: 2,000 - 2,350m
Varietals: Various Ethiopian Heirloom Varietals
Average farm size: Less than 1 hectare
This Adado Coffee comes from the Gedeo zone, and is named after the local tribe "Adado". The region is comprised of 7000 farmers, contributing to 8 Mills and exports 20-30 containers annually.
Adado is a favourite micro region of Yirga Cheffe. Stone fruit, and lots of it, is the predominant flavour profile of this area. The natural process of these lots really complement the typical profile of the washed coffee beautifully. One of the great things about Ethiopian coffees is the complete mix of varietals. It is estimated that somewhere between six thousand and ten thousand varietals exist naturally in these highlands, the origin of coffee - The cross pollination of genetics is totally amazing.
The soil is pH 5.2 – 6.2, red brown fertile clay that drains well, depth of over 1.5m. Ripe cherries are then delivered to mill, where cherries are graded and then placed onto raised drying beds in thin layers and turned every 2-3 hours in the first few days, to avoid over-fermentation and mould growth. 6-8 weeks later, depending on weather and temperature, the beans are de-hulled. The beans are then transported to Addis in parchment, and then milled prior to shipping.
About the Yirgacheffe region
Yirgacheffe is actually part of the Sidamo region in southern Ethiopia, but its exquisite washed coffees are so well-known that is has been sub-divided into its own micro-region. This steep, green area is both fertile and high – much of the coffee grows at 2,000m and above.
At first glance Yirgacheffe’s hills look thickly forested - but in fact it is a heavily populated region and the hills are dotted with many dwellings and villages’ growing what is known as ‘garden coffee’. There are approximately 26 cooperatives in the region, representing some 43,794 farmers and around 62,004 hectares of garden coffee. The production is predominantly washed, although a smaller amount of sun dried coffees also come out of Yirgacheffe.
Around 85 percent of Ethiopians still live rurally and make a living from agriculture; each family usually lives in a modest home (often a single round mud hut) and farms their own plot of land, where they grow both cash crops and food for their own consumption. In Yirgacheffe, coffee is one of the main cash crops – covering from half a hectare to 1.5 hectares (the latter is considered big). This is usually planted alongside a second cash crop – often a large-leafed tree used in making roofs for (and also shade provider for the coffee) known as 'false banana'. This looks like a banana tree but isn't - instead its thick stem is used to produce both a nutritious flour and a fermented paste that are staple ingredients (particularly across southern Ethiopia).
There is only one main harvest a year in Ethiopia - this usually takes place in November and December across all of the country's growing regions. There are, on average, 4 passes made during the harvest period, and, in regions that produce both washed and naturals, the last pass is used for the natural coffee. Washed coffees are then generally pulped on the same day that they are picked (usually in the evening/night), sorted into three grades by weight (heavy, medium and floaters), fermented (times vary - usually between 16 and 48 hours), washed and then usually graded again in the washing channels. The beans are then dried on African beds, where they are hand-sorted, usually by women.
About the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange and Traceability:
For many years, Ethiopian coffee, some of the best in the world, was for the most part untraceable. Starting in 2008, Ethiopia began the centralization of all coffee exports through the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX), where the coffees were ‘anonymised’, stripped of any information other than region, in the interest of the farmers, who were meant to receive top dollar for quality regardless of the ‘name’ of the washing station or farm. Coffees moving through the ECX were (still are) delivered to certified coffee labs, where they were cupped according to profile then graded and marked generically for export. This ‘equalising’ measure certainly benefited some producers, but it had the negative impact of eliminating most roasters’ and importers’ ability to provide accurate information of the precise traceability of coffees. Even after the opening of the ‘second window’ (devised for direct sales of cooperative and certified coffee), as of the end of 2017 some 90 percent of coffees still moved through the ECX.
The end of March 2017 saw a huge overturning of this mandatory system. In a bill raised by the Ethiopian Coffee & Tea Development and Marketing Authority, Ethiopian coffee (even that sold through the ECX) can be marketed and sold with full traceability intact. The aim is to limit black market dealings, to demand higher prices and to enable Ethiopian producers to share in a greater piece of the pie.
In a bit more detail, the new system proposes that any exporter with a valid license will be allowed to sell directly to buyers without placing the coffee on the ECX first. There is a slight caveat – the parchment coffee will have to be sold within three days of arriving at the processing plant in Addis. If it is still unsold after three days (which is quite likely), it must be sold through the ECX: BUT with its traceability info intact rather than being deleted. Additionally, it is proposed that oversees companies will be able to plant and sell coffee..
Our espresso recipe using 20g basket
20.5g in / 42g out
in 28 to 32 seconds