Ethiopia | Ayele Begashaw

Regular price $28.00
Unit price

Region: Aricha, Yirgacheffe
Altitude: 1,900 metres above sea level
Varietal: JARC 74110, 74112, and 74165
Process: Natural
Producer: Ayele Begashaw

Natural processed Ethiopians are renowned for their intense fruit character, rich sweetness and winey acidity.

This is a rare and special lot because it was purchased from a single producer. Most farmers in Ethiopia are not able to connect to buyers directly and must sell their cherry at local washing stations where it is combined with other farmers’ lots, losing transparency and distinction. 

Notes of strawberry, pineapple and blueberry provide a punchy fruitiness, ending with a long floral aftertaste. A shining example of Ethiopian coffee's provenance.

Recommended for all pour-over methods.

Origin Story
This natural processed coffee was produced by Ayele Begashaw, who grows and processes coffee on his 4-hectare farm Aricha, which is named after Ethiopia’s famed kebele (local village) of Aricha.

Coffees that are grown and processed in Aricha showcase an extremely diverse range of flavour profiles, and are noted for their intensely fruit-forward, tea-like, floral and complex character that is sought after worldwide.

Ayele’s farm sits at 1,900m above sea level. The farm’s high elevation, combined with the region’s cool climate, is ideal for the slow ripening of coffee cherries, leading to denser beans and a sweeter, more complex cup profile. Coffee is grown as a cash crop, alongside other food crops like corn, grain and bananas. The coffee is intercropped amongst native forest and grows under the shade of Birbira, Wanza, and Acacia trees. Like many Ethiopian smallholder farmers, Ayele uses organic farming practices that rely heavily on the manual labour of him and his family.

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.

Each day, Ayele and his team selectively handpick the ripest red cherries. The cherries 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. Careful attention and control during this drying phase ensures a clean and balanced cup profile is achieved. 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.

The coffee is then dried for 10–12 days on raised African drying beds, firstly under cover (for around 3–5 hours) and then subsequently in the sun.