Ethiopia | Worka Chelchele

Regular price $27.00
Unit price

Region: Chelchele, Sidama
Altitude: 2,000 metres above sea level
Varietal: Landrace & JARC varieties
Process: Natural
Producer: 845 independent producers
Washing station: Worka

Creamy body and sugary sweetness of stewed fruit. This natural processed Ethiopian has notes prune and Amaretto with dark chocolate on the finish. Complex yet approachable. 

Recommended for espresso, stovetop and cold brew.

Origin Story
This lot is made up of coffees grown and processed in the ‘kebele’ (town or village) of Worka, in the ‘woreda’ (administrative district) of Chelchele, in Ethiopia’s Gedeo Zone.

During harvest, freshly picked coffee cherry is delivered daily by some 845 local coffee growers, before being processed under the watchful eye of washing station manager, Yesuf Ali. The majority of the families who contributed to this lot farm organically on tiny plots of land, averaging just 2.8 hectares in size. Coffee is their main cash crop and grows alongside food crops of corn, grain and bananas, under the shade of native Birbira, Wanza,and Acacia trees. The average elevation of the farms in this region is very high – around 1,900–2,200m above sea level – and this, combined with the region’s cool temperatures, is ideal for the slow ripening of coffee cherries, leading to denser beans and a sweeter, more complex cup profile.

This coffee was processed using the natural method; a complex process requiring a high level of attention to detail in order to be done well. Ethiopian coffee has been processed this way by generations of farmers who have mastered the art of the natural method through centuries of tradition and experience.

This coffee is classified as Grade 1, indicating that maximum effort has been put into the selection, grading and drying to ensure the very highest quality coffee is produced.

Each day, carefully hand-picked coffee cherries are delivered to the wet mill and are meticulously hand-sorted prior to processing to remove unripe, overripe, or damaged fruit, in order to enhance the quality and sweetness of the cup.

The coffee is then graded by weight and spread evenly on raised African beds (screens) to dry in the sun. Initially, it is laid very thinly and turned regularly to ensure consistent drying and prevent over-fermentation. This is done very carefully to avoid damage to the fruit.

After a few days, when the coffee has reached 25% humidity—this is called the “raisin stage”—the layers of coffee are gradually increased. The coffee is turned constantly whilst drying to ensure that it dries evenly and consistently. At midday, the coffee is covered to protect it from full sun. It is also covered overnight to prevent damage from morning dew.

Once the coffee reaches the optimum moisture level (usually after 15–18 days), it is hulled and rested in bags in parchment until it is ready for export.
About the Sidama Zone
Sidama is a wide geographical classification that encompasses much of central-south Ethiopia and includes renowned coffee producing localities such as Yirgacheffe, Kochere, West Arsi, Bensa and Guji. The Sidama zone is named after the Sidama people; a tribe with a long and proud history of coffee production.

Synonymous with quality, Sidama produces exceptional natural and washed coffees that showcase an extremely diverse range of flavour profiles. Coffees from Sidama are noted for their intensely fruit-forward, tea-like, floral and complex character and are sought after worldwide.

It is widely accepted that the coffee species, Arabica, originated in the lush forests of southern forests of Ethiopia and hence growing conditions in this area are perfectly suited for producing exquisite coffees.