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Clifton Coffee - Ethiopia: Werka Chelchele Yirgacheffe Gr.1 (W)

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Complex, clean & pronounced acidity with classic florals of jasmine, apricot, white peach & preserved lemons. Delicious both ways, espresso or filter

ChelChele is a micro-region of Yirgacheffe and this coffee comes to us from the local cooperative wet mill that’s fed by various local small holders, all with small amounts of land dedicated to coffee farming.

Virtually all the coffee that comes out of Ethiopian leaves under the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) and this coffee is no different. Whilst that typically means virtually no traceability back to the farm on which the coffee was grown, it does ensure a swift and standardised payment system for the producers.

Here is a general rundown of how the ECX chain works in Ethiopia:

- Farmers deliver cherry to local wet mills. Some wet mills pay a premium for better quality cherry, some do not.
- The wet mill then delivers parchment coffee to a delivery station warehouse. In Yirgacheffe, this delivery station is in Dila.
- Coffees are labeled with a region and then are graded based both on physical qualities as well as cup quality. Higher quality coffee fetches a higher price.
- Coffee is categorized into 81 generic grades of coffee at the ECX: Processing: Washed, Un-washed, Region: Yirgacheffe, Sidama, Limu, etc. Flavor: A (Representative of region’s cup characteristics) B (Less so), Grade: 1-9 (defect count)
- Traceability on the coffee through the ECX will, at most, be labelled as region followed by mill/coop: “Yirgacheffe: Konga” or “Sidama: Borena.” In this case, it’s “Yirgacheffe: Werka Chelchele”.
- Once a specific lot is purchased, it is then shipped to the buyer (typically an exporter in Ethiopia).
- Full lots come divided in 30 bag chop sub-lots (parchment). Exporters who are buying and selling many containers will cup through the sub-lots to select the top lots and build a full container from these. The ECX does not allow for complete traceability, but coffee cooperatives in Ethiopia do have the ability to go around the ECX and export the coffee themselves. Coffees that are exported by a cooperative can have traceability, possibly even to a single farmer but these coffees are increasingly difficult to find and bring in.

We have cupped literally dozens of washed Ethiopians this season, from just about every mill across the key producing regions and for us, this coffee has been the standout offer based on it’s big pronounced juicy sweetness, clean acidity and character.

We get a lovely vibrant cup of white peach, jasmine, preserved lemons and a hint of Apricot. Altogether familiar characteristics of a washed Yirg. but with this one everything just seemed to jump out of the cup a little more. Delicious both ways, espresso or filter

Altitude: 2000-2350 Meters
Farm/Coop: Werka Chelchele wet mill
Great for: Aeropress, Cafetiere, Espresso, Filter, With milk
Origin: Africa/Ethiopia - Yirgacheffe
Process Method: Washed - & sun dried on raised beds
Tasting Notes: Complex, clean & pronounced acidity with classic florals of jasmine, apricot, white peach & preserved lemons
Varietals: Various Ethiopian Heirloom Varietals

Roasterr: Clifton Coffee

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Initial collection: Clifton Coffee Roasters - Bristol

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Tasting record

Method Dose Grind Time Volume Comments
e.g. Espresso 18g Vario 1E 25secs 30ml A bit finer next time would be better.