Aricha is the name of the washing station where this coffee is processed. Aricha is about 8 kilometres from the centre of Yirgacheffe Town. Aside from its near-legendary status as the “birthplace” of Arabica coffee, there is much to love about Ethiopia as a producing nation, including but not limited to the incredible diversity of flavour and character that exists among micro-regions, specifically within this southwestern Gedeo Zone of Yirgacheffe whereas whose names alone conjure thoughts of the finest coffees in the world.
Coffee was literally made to thrive in the lush environment Yirgacheffe’s forests provide, developing nuanced floral characteristics, articulate sweetness and sparkling acidity. The growers take their cherries here after the day’s harvest for processing. This natural processed coffee from Aricha was dried in thin layers on raised drying beds. To avoid over-fermentation and mould, the cherries are turned every couple of hours. Depending on weather conditions, 4-6 weeks later the beans are hulled. The attention to detail is so important in coffee processing and these results are noticeable in the cup with improved sweetness and clarity.
Most Yirgacheffe coffee is prepared by the conventional wet method, in which the skin and pulp are removed from the beans or seeds before they are dried, encouraging a cleanly high-toned, often intensely floral and citrus-toned cup. This Yirgacheffe is a “natural” or dry-processed version, however, meaning the beans/seeds were dried inside the fruit, encouraging a deeper-toned floral and fruit character. Like virtually all Ethiopia coffees, this striking and unusual coffee is produced by villagers on small, garden plots interplanted with food and other subsistence crops.