On a cupping table with more than 20 different coffees from Ethiopia, each of them, with its character and specific taste profile, this lot was a standout. As a last cup on the table, it surprised us without arguing if this is the one we are taking. Its complex sweetness combined with aftertaste similarity to Kombucha, which reflects the specific extended fermentation of this coffee, was the Drop the mic for us.
Yirgacheffe region is a small but well-known coffee region in Ethiopia due to its specific flavour resulting in fruity and floral taste notes in the cup. It is recognised as one of the birth regions of coffee. Mainly farms are growing coffee at around 2000+ meters above sea level, predominantly Heirloom varieties consisting. Many of them are local varieties.
Farms in Ethiopia generally are classified as smallholder farms and are around 1 to 5 hectares in size. Usually, they look more like gardens than farms and coffee trees are grown together with other crops like - false banana and pulse crops of beans. In season one coffee tree provides approximately 5 kg of coffee cherries. Those are then gathered together and sold to washing stations, where they are processed and dried for further consumption.
Beans in this lot classify as Heirloom, containing two locally selected sub-varieties: 74110 and 74112. Both were cultivated in the 1970s at the Ethiopian Jimma Agricultural Research Center (JARC). The general intent to develop this variety was a problem that all origins were facing - struggling with the coffee berry disease. The two first digits of the classification number 74 represent the year 1974 in which they were selected.
It's well-known that the first print of coffee three cultivation, growing and usage started in Ethiopia. Variety 74110 was selected from an original so-called mother tree in Ethiopia, Bishari village, Metu Province, Oromia region. After researching its resistance to coffee berry disease and overall yield, JARC released the variety in 1979.
In the same year, the variety 74112 was released. It originated from the same forest as the variety 74110. Both varieties share the same similarities - relatively compact trees with small leaves and berries.