Dale is in Sidamo district near Yirga Alem, but in a different political state (Woreda) than other lots we get. It goes by the attractive name SNNP: Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region. Don't ask why. It's the most diverse district with some 45 distinct ethnic groups, but the official language is the common Amharic. Many Sidamo coffees are from the Oromia woreda, which nearly envelops SNNP. The Dale coop is within 5 minutes drive of the Aregash Lodge and the well known Fero Fair Trade Coop by the village of Mesncho. Dale Coop has 300 smallholder farmers between Awassa and Dilla at a range of 1750-1950 meters, and includes the towns of Sokoru and Sole. They are very small coffee plots, garden grown, natural, sun-dry process, with careful selection of ripe cherries. The coop is Organic Certified. There are so many amazing dry-process Ethiopias to chose from this year ... it's an epic year for DP coffees. The Dale is outstanding, it would be a tragedy to miss out on this (luckily we have a good stock and it should last - there were 2 lots imported and we snagged a good portion on this one. The other was noticeably less intense). The dry fragrance offers a good hint at the cup flavors to come. There are intense fruited notes, both berry and fleshy fruit (peach, apricot, some plum). The spice accent is ginger and a bit of clove. The wet aroma has strong, pulpy fruitiness, and sage herbal notes. The cup is (no surprise) loaded with plum, ripe nectarine, and berry fruits. Unlike other coffees, my lightest test roasts (City-City+) did not really result in the best quality fruited notes. It was at Full City that they came into their own, along with fresh ginger spice, some macadamia nut roast tone, and a finish of bittersweet chocolate and cola notes. Add a little more roast time and the chocolate becomes exponentially more pronounced, at FC+ and light Vienna roast levels. While the coffee works well under this wide range of roasts, it is a dry-process natural Ethiopian from small coop member "coffee gardens." So we see some light "quakers", the result of some unripe coffee cherry making it into the final green coffee, at a rate of about 2 per 120 grams. Pull out these lightest of the light beans, but normal variation in bean-to-bean roast color is to be expected. The Dale is a little lower in tone, in acidity, than the excellent Koratie Dry-Process, but certainly a coffee in the same vein. And both are a quality of DP Ethiopia that was quite rare last year.