Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee is a unique and distinctive coffee that comes from the Sidamo region, located in the south of Ethiopia, bordering Kenya and Somalia. This region is noted for its geographical diversity, ranging from the plateaus in the centre of the country to the mountains in the south, with an average altitude above sea level of 1330 metres. Yirgacheffe is a micro-area of Sidamo, located between the towns of Dilla and Agere Maryam.
It was in the Yirgacheffe area that the particularity of the coffees was discovered. Mr. Hiwot, working for Besse & Co. in 1960, noticed that the coffees from the Melkalole area had unique characteristics, such as uniform size, bluish colour and a fruity cup with very distinctive floral and citrus notes, together with high acidity. Based on this discovery, it was decided to market this coffee in a differentiated way, without mixing it with other Sidamo coffees.
Subsequently, 20,000 hectares of coffee were planted in the Yirgacheffe area with the aim of replicating these unique characteristics, and the Yirgacheffe denomination was created. However, in the case of commercial coffees, those with certain cup characteristics are classified as Yirgacheffe.
Yirgacheffe coffee is grown spontaneously on the hillsides or in coffee gardens, small plots of land where each family also plants fruit trees and vegetables. It is also grown on larger plots and processed in washing stations scattered throughout the territory. Besides being an important element of the local economy, coffee is also a protagonist of the social and cultural life of the region.
In the cup, Yirgacheffe coffee stands out for its cherry and jasmine flavours, mixed with notes of dark chocolate and sweetness. As for the aroma, notes of jasmine and citrus can be appreciated.