0015 – Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, Chelba, roasted by Brandywine
Saturday begins with a story about a "Coffee Mystic" and the washing station where these beans began their journey.
|Roaster||Brandywine, Wilmington, Delaware|
|Roaster Tasting Notes||Black Tea / Sprite / Lemon Frosting|
|Elevation||1750 - 1950 meters|
The Chelba Washing Station
Chelba washing station is located in the Gedeo region (inside Yirgacheffe which is inside Sidamo). Most of the coffee produced here is washed. (About 25% is processed naturally). Because the Chelba river decided to flow right past the washing station, water for wet processing is in ample supply.
This coffee is produces by a collective of 500 farmers that plant coffee in their small parcels of land. The export of this coffee is run by the Trabocca BV, a green bean importer based in Amsterdam, under the Operation Cherry Red. They incentive farmers to only pick and deliver ripe cherries and help ensure the farmers are paid a premium.
Why do many Ethiopia coffees come from a "washing station?"
Good question! These coffees are often produced by a collective of farmers. In this case, 500 coffees in the Chelba Coop. It's not possible to know exactly which small plot of land this coffee is from or who managed it. All these small farmers are working together unified by the washing station. Besides paying attention to how they care for their trees, farmers need to pick the cherries at just the right time and then make sure they get them to the washing stations as fast as they can. Typically on the same day as picking. Many washing stations train the smallholders with best practices such as these.
The washing station typically pays the farmer for the cherry, and then it is hand sorted for quality, washed, and dried –mostly on raised beds in Ethiopia. It then has to travel to a dry mill to be cleaned, dried and rested. The importer and exporter are overseeing all this working with the wet mill and dry mill to coordinate payment and logistics.
That's a lot, right? This short video from Sweet Marias has some visuals that help explain coffee processing in Yirgacheffe:
Yirgacheffe is probably the most famous Ethiopia coffee producing region, and is also one of the most densly populated with coffee trees. Yirgacheffe is part of the Sidamo region, but its exquisite washed coffees are so well-known that is has been sub-divided into its own micro-region, which has been trademarked by the Ethiopian government.
Be Kind. Create. Drink. Brandywine is founded on these ideals, and named for the nearby valley in Wilmington Delaware. With job titles like "Head Coffee Mystic" (Roaster we think) and "General Manager of Awesome," you know you're not dealing with just another basic coffee crew. Even their brew guides are colourful and creative.
Creativity, Kindness, and Coffee is a little spell we like to start the day with around our roasting and printing operation hidden away in Wilmington, Delaware, right outside of the Brandywine Valley. We aim to deliver a small bit of all of the above, plus a little wonder and joy with each screen printed bag of coffee that is sent out to the multiverse. All of our hand printed packages are filled with coffee intentionally, kindly, and responsibly sourced / roasted by our wonderful team of coffee mystics. Each hand printed bag features a custom illustration from the weirdly wonderful mind and hand of local Delaware artist Todd Purse. This helps emphasize that each coffee we release is itself a work of art living with in another work of art. Coffee art inside of coffee art...meta-coffee art! Please go forth to drink coffee, create and BE KIND!
How'd it taste?
In the dry aroma, we smelled some spice, almost black pepper wow. Once the cup cooled, juicy sweet soft stone fruits, like apricot or peach. Absolutly can taste the processing in this cup. Sweet but soft and a great start to a Saturday. Juice juice.
Notes from Revolver HQ
White peach, Pink Lady apple, jasmine. Bright, vibrant & wildly floral.
Brandywine even describes this coffee as wild flower simple syrup.
What did you think of today's coffee?
We would love to hear from you ❤️
Feel free to share with us any comments below and use #coffeechronicles on social media so we can follow along.
Just a big wow! Love this one very much!
Thanks Nathalie from Montreal. We love to hear it.
Share your feedback on today's coffee anytime here. We'd LOVE to hear from some of you who haven't clicked thru yet. It only takes a few seconds we promise.
Enjoy the first half of your weekend and as you guessed we will see you manyana. We have something special for Sunday.
– Coffee Chronicles
- Read more from the importer Royal Coffee about their journey through Ethiopia's heirloom country and the challenges of travel in this region post-conflict.