Yirgacheffe Natural Beloya Organic
|Roaster Location:||Santa Rosa, California|
|Coffee Origin:||Yirgacheffe growing region, Sidamo Province, southern Ethiopia.|
|Review Date:||March 2009|
A lush, chocolate- and berry-toned fruit competes with an underlying menthol and Mediterranean herb character that may strike some coffee drinkers as too sharp and others as bracing. The sweet blueberry-like fruit prevails in the aroma, the fruit and savory herb balance in the cup. They split the difference in the finish: the short finish belongs to the fruit and chocolate, the long to the dry, herby mouthfeel.
A region of lush, rolling hills in south-central Ethiopia, Yirgacheffe is most celebrated for its washed or wet-processed coffee, meaning coffee that has been prepared by removing the fruit before the beans or seeds have been dried, resulting in a cleanly high-toned, intensely floral- and citrus-toned cup. The Yirgacheffe reviewed here, however, is a "natural" or dry-processed version of the great Yirgacheffe profile, meaning the beans/seeds were dried inside the fruit, producing a flavor profile that is lower toned and richer with a wild, slightly fermented fruit. 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. This coffee is certified organically grown and Fair Trade, the latter meaning it was purchased from small-holding farmers at a "fair" or economically sustainable price. Ecco Caffe is a tiny, genuinely artisan specialty roaster that specializes in relatively light-roasted, "Northern Italian Style" espressos and select single-origin coffees. Visit
Who Should Drink It
Those who enjoy paradox and contradiction.
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This review originally appeared in the March, 2009 tasting report: San Francisco Bay Area Coffees: Dark and Beyond