Yirga Cheffe coffees are a renowned wet-processed type with delicate floral and fruit brightness in the cup. As a sub-region of Sidamo, Yirga Cheffe seemed like quite a specific designation several years ago, but times are changing in the coffee world. As small buyers of micro-lots start to travel to coffee origins more, our ability to designate the source of our coffees becomes more specific. And now we have started to find, within the Yirga Cheffe area, special regions with particular cup character. Comically, this lot does not represent that type of coffee; it's an old style pooled Yirga Cheffe by Moplaco Export, one that passed through the new Ethiopia Coffee Exchange (ECX) so that we aren't sure of it's exact origin within the Yirga Cheffe region. However, I thought it was a really, really nice coffee upon cupping it! The fact the ECX has become more of an obstacle than an aid in sourcing great coffee is still true, but there are exceptions. After all, really nice lots still exist and go to the exchange, and while we don't know the exact Coop or Private mill it comes from, it's still the same coffee. It just takes a lot of cupping to find them. Dry grounds have a distinct lemon cookie scent, with floral and honey sweet scents. The wet aromatics are fantastic; very sweet honeysuckle blossom, honey-butter, sugar cane, orange and even a zest of crushed spearmint. The cup has a soft, full mouthfeel, and ample sweetness. It's a surprisingly silky body for a Yirga Cheffe, which can sometimes be a little thin. Apricot and peach notes emerge, sweet stone fruits, along with the honey and floral notes found in the aromatics. As it cools, robust jasmine notes come to the foreground, along with sweetened apricot tea. It's a remarkable, aromatic coffee with complex estery high notes. I tested 5 roasts and would say that 3 of them were 95+ coffees, 1 was 92, 1 was 90. So it is roast sensitive, even in the recommended City to City+ range. But every roast was extremely good, and, based on very slight differences, some were exceptional
It also does incredibly well as an aromatic component in espresso!