This Yirgacheffe coffee comes from the Adado Cooperative washing station in the southeastern Ethiopian highlands within the Gedeo Zone, south of the capital Addis Ababa. The Gedeo people (often referred to in literature as Darasa) are considered to be a culturally and linguistically distinct group. They are bordered by the Sidama in the East, the Alaba in the North, the Burji in the West and the Guji in the South. All of these groups belong to the Eastern Cushitic speaking people, who traditionally occupied the upper reaches of the Rift Valley escarpment in northern Sidamo. Today the Gedeo Zone is one of the most densely populated parts of Ethiopia.
The Gedeo Zone is the main production area for the world famous Yirgacheffe and Sidamo coffees. The Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (YCFCU), which began in 2002, represents over 50,000 farmers within 24 primary cooperatives. The 1250 member Adado Cooperative is one of these.
Located in the lushly vegetated mountains, members’ coffee farms reside at altitudes between 2000 to 2400 meters above sea level. In this area, the soil is fertile with infrequent erosion due to traditional Gedeo agriculture practices combinbing coffee and enset (aka false banana), both semi-permanent species, as the predominant crops.
The Adado Cooperative is a major success story. As recently as 2005, the cooperative was almost totally defunct without any working equipment to process their coffee. In 2007, a new eco depulper was installed which allowed 25 farmer members to process a small amount of coffee. Over the next three years, membership soared as the co-op implemented these additions to the infrastructure in and around the washing station: repairing roads, purchasing a generator for the depulper, building new drying beds, educating the local farmers about sustainable practices, and offering farmers pre-financing. Adado now produces both exemplary natural processed and washed processed coffees.
Strong cooperation between the farmers, the cooperative and the exporter agent has been vital to the success of this operation.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Adado, from PERC Coffee in Savannah, Georgia. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Gedeo, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
producer: smallholder farmers
elevation: 2000 – 2350 meters above sea level
cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom
method: Hario V60
grind: 20, Preciso
coffee: 32 g
water: 500 mL
pour: 2:30 concentric pulse pour, 1:00 drop
Ohhh yeah, this is a natural Yirg, no doubt about it. Wow. As soon as I open the bag, huge blueberry bombs explode out of it and fill my whole kitchen—this coffee is intensely *blueberry.* It has some other scents of chocolate, honey, violet, and other fruits (stone fruit, citrus, strawberry), but it’s intense blueberry wine that is the defining feature of this coffee’s aroma.
Taking my first few sips of the cup immediately post-brew, there’s still no denying that this is a natural Yirg. Heavy blueberry tones up front and, I’m predicting, all the way through. There are other flavors going on, obviously, but boy oh boy that blueberry; it’s actually more like a blueberry wine because of its light fermentation. That flavor, combined with the dusting of cocoa powder and cane sugar, make for a unique jelly texture that I really dig.
As the cup cools, the profile starts to break down—which seems to be pretty customary for natural Yirgs. But this one doesn’t fully go away without some final parting shots: a bit of lemon, a bit of vanilla cream, and violet petals.
Full body; jelly mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
Intensely sweet and unrestrained immediately post-brew, PERC Coffee’s Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Adado runs wild on the palate after immediately gatecrashing out of the cup, but quickly loses its momentum as it progressively cools down to room temperature.
This coffee (and coffees like it) are double-edged swords: you have to drink them quickly to keep up with everything they throw at you, but they’re so intense that it’s hard to do so.
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