Yirgacheffe is both a town and grade of coffee in Ethiopia.The town itself is located in the Gedeo zone in the Southern Nations and Nationalities Peoples Regional State (SNNPRS) in Southern Ethiopia. More than any other country, Ethiopia has a broad genetic diversity among its coffee varieties, with each type having distinctive taste, shape and colour. As a result, each region in the country can offer a different flavour profile, forming the grading system for Ethiopian coffees e.g. Sidamo, Harrar, Limu, Djimmah etc. It is widely argued that a Yirgacheffe grade coffee can offer one of the most distinctive flavour profiles in the world with pungent floral aroma and intense fruit flavour.
Processing in Yirgacheffe can take the form of both washed and natural, with most of the coffee growing at over 2000 metres above sea level. Much of the coffee grown in Ethiopia is done so using traditional methods,
under shade trees alongside other crops and without the use of chemicals. Coffee from Yirgacheffe is often referred to as ‘garden coffee’ as it is grown on very small plots, often in the back yard of small dwellings. Working in partnership with Addis Exporter, a business with more than 100 years’ experience in exporting high quality coffee from Ethiopia, we have been able to select an incredible natural processed coffee from smallholders based around the Rocko Mountain in the Haricha Woreda, Yirgacheffe. These smallholder farmers have hand-picked their cherries and sold them to a local trader who oversees the processing and sorting before selling the beans to the ECX who grade the beans according to SCAA standards. Addis Exporter then purchase the top quality lots from the ECX and select the best for their ‘Rocko Mountain Reserve’.