Ethiopia Layo Taraga
Ethiopia Layo Taraga
Ethiopian coffees are everything. They can be delicate, floral, and tea-like. They can be full of sparkling acidity with hints of stone fruit. They can be straight up juicy, berry bombs. Or anything in between. This incredible diversity of flavor and character can be traced to each distinct micro-region, as well as the way each coffee is processed after being picked. Coffee was literally made to thrive in the lush environment that Ethiopia’s forests provide. After all, this is where coffee was “born”.
This coffee falls into the “SUPER sweet with bergamot aromatics, sparkling acidity, and hints of stone fruit” category (read: juicy, but not a berry bomb). It was grown by 500 smallholder farmers each of whom own about 1/2 hectare of land around the town of Haro Wachu. These farmers all deliver their ripe cherries to the Layo Taraga washing station which was founded in the year 2000.
Until recently, coffee grown by smallholders and co-ops in Ethiopia were required to be sold through the ECX, where lots were classified by general region, quality (Grade 1–5). In March of 2017, the prime minister of Ethiopia approved a reform allowing co-operatively owned washing stations to export their coffee directly, which allows for separation of top coffee lots, higher prices for farmers, and increased recognition for the best quality coffees in Ethiopia. This enhanced traceability allows us to buy more directly from the same washing stations year in and year out and opens the potential for partnerships with individual farmers or smaller groups within a community.
This lot is composed of a selection of strictly Bourbon variety coffees. For “washed” coffees like this one, the cherries are sorted after delivery before being depulped and fermented underwater for 48–72 hours. Then the coffee is washed, and gets another soak that lasts 8–16 hours before being dried on raised beds for 9–12 days on average. This coffee also underwent even more intensive sorting throughout the process, ensuring that only ripe cherry was selected to start, and then removing any damaged, broken, or otherwise defective beans by hand for the duration of processing (“Grade 1, Special Prep”).
We tasted: bergamot, peach, candy
Farm: Various smallholder farmers delivering to Layo Taraga Washing Station
Region: Haro Wachu, Uraga, Guji
Processing Method: Washed
Elevation: 1,500–2,000 msl