History attributes Ethiopia as coffee’s birthplace in 850 AD. A young goat herder named Kaldi noticed increased energy and liveliness in his flock after munching on coffee beans. Kaldi gave the beans a try, noticed the effects, and the world’s infatuation with coffee had begun. Located within Sidama, Yirgacheffe is a small region in southern Ethiopia where the beans thrive. The plants grow naturally thanks to its thick vegetation, healthy soil, and high elevations. Ethiopia provides a warm and tropical climate with moderate wet and dry seasons.
Since the climate is ideal, Yirgacheffe plants can be harvested without agricultural chemicals. Yirgacheffe beans are harvested from October through December.
Wet processing began in Ethiopia in the 1970s. Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia was the birth-place of the first wet processing mill. Instead of being picked and dried immediately, wet processing requires thorough washing. The coffee beans soak in giant water vats immediately after they’re picked. Once they are clean, the beans sit on rotating beds for 48 to 72 hours. This dries the entire bean evenly. Wet processing removes the traditional fermented Yirgacheffe flavors and creates a lighter bodied coffee bean with citrus and floral notes. Wet processing is a modern method that creates a more consistent flavor.
Yirgacheffe beans are bright and beautiful. They’re ideal for both hot and cold brews. The beans make a delicious light or medium-roast and the best Yirgacheffe coffees carry distinctive floral notes.