Featured Coffee: Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kochere

Ethiopia Yirgacheffe

Considered by most to be the original home of the coffee plant, it makes sense that Ethiopia produces some of the very finest beans available.

Coffee, which still grows wild in Ethiopia’s mountain forests, was discovered many hundreds of years ago, legend has it, by an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi.

According to the story, he noticed his goats becoming surprisingly active after eating coffee cherries. One thing led to another and after some experimentation, the coffee cherries were turned into a beverage.

From Ethiopia, coffee made its way across the Red Sea to Yemen, where it was first grown as a commercial crop. From the Middle East, the popularity of coffee as a beverage spread to Europe. In the colonial empires of European countries, in places such as Indonesia and the Americas, new locations were soon identified that were ideal for the growth of the coffee plant.

Today, after lagging behind many of the other big growing nations for years, Ethiopia is Africa’s top coffee producer. The unique (and delicious) flavors of its crops have helped the country rise to become the world’s seventh-largest coffee producer.

Our new coffee originates from Ethiopia’s Kochere area within the district of Yirgacheffe. Kochere is home to many family farms and this coffee is a blend of lots from several hundred small regional farmers. In the region, coffee is grown at elevations from 1,700 to 2,200 meters above sea level in the reddish-brown clay soil of the high hills. It is hand-picked between October and January, washed and processed using spring water within 12 hours, and then naturally dried in the hot African sun. The result is a fragrant and flavorful coffee that is sought after around the world

“Our Ethiopia offering this year marks a return to a more typical washed flavor profile,” says Brad Kirby, Stockton Graham & Co.’s Director of Coffee. “We chose this Kochere due to its complexity and clean cup. Its balance between tartness and sweetness was immediately apparent on the cupping table and we think this offering will appeal to a wide range of coffee lovers.”

CUPPING NOTES
AROMA:  Lemon Drop, Floral
BODY:  Light
FLAVOR:  Black Tea, Lemon, Honeyed Sweetness
ACIDITY:  Pleasantly Tart
AFTERTASTE:  Sweet, Juicy

For more information about our Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kochere or any of our other specialty coffees, call us at 800-835-5943 or email orders@stocktongraham.com.

 

 

Limited Edition Special: Ethiopia Limmu Natural

Stockton Graham & Co. has a lot to be excited about. But this week one thing in particular has been causing a lot of buzz around the roastery – our amazing Ethiopian coffee, Limmu Natural.

Stockton Graham & Co. Ethiopia cut paper hutThis single farm coffee is a limited edition, small batch that our roasters have masterfully nailed on the head. Fighting the urge to keep it all for ourselves, we are happy (maybe a little begrudgingly) to finally share this coffee with you. We have a feeling it’s going to go fast.

 

A Bean Unlike Any Other

I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in our first Limmu Natural tasting the day after the beans were roasted. Let me tell you, I haven’t seen this kind of anticipation from our roasting team in a long time. Roastmaster Brandon Riggs, Head Roaster Brad Kirby, and resident Barista Alex Jeans huddled around the heating kettle like it was Christmas morning.

Stockton Graham & Co. Limmu Natural pouroverThe first, most striking detail about this coffee is the aroma. Before the beans are even roasted, they have a powerful bouquet of sweet fruit with floral undertones. As Alex started to brew the freshly ground coffee the room began to smell like a berry orchard, with balmy aromas of ripe strawberries and jam.

“Because this coffee is natural processed, it has a more substantial body and slightly lower acidity than its wet processed counterparts,” said Roastmaster Brandon Riggs. “What’s great about the Limmu Natural though, is that it still produces an exceptionally clean cup in which the berry notes carry through from start to finish.”

Head Roaster Brad Kirby added, “This was processed perfectly. It’s more earthy and spicy than a Yirgacheffe, with a satisfying tartness at the end.

Stockton Graham Ethiopia Limmu NaturalCupping Attributes
Aroma: Watermelon, Ripe Strawberries
Body: Substantial, Juicy
Flavor: Strawberry, Raspberry, Rosehips
Acidity: Subtle and Lingering
Aftertaste: Clean, Sweet

A unanimous and resounding approval was obvious as everyone silently sipped and savored. Something familiar makes this coffee comforting and approachable, but it is simultaneously and undeniably unique.

“I would recommend brewing this using either the V60 or Kalita Wave pour over method to really highlight the fruit flavors and produce the cleanest cup,” said Alex. “That being said, this next-level coffee will be excellent no matter how you prepare it.”

 

Coffee in Ethiopia

Stockton Graham & Co. Ethiopia countrysideNot only is Ethiopia the birthplace of Arabica coffee, but it is undoubtedly one of the most popular coffee origins in the world. Many of its regions are well known for their coveted varietals and sought-after flavor profiles. Its high altitudes, ideal climates, and diverse landscapes make it somewhat of a coffee growing paradise. In fact, there is so much possibility for different coffees that finding a unique, exceptional, and traceable coffee in Ethiopia can be a challenge. Luckily, many of the farmers throughout the country are actively building strong relationships with coffee buyers and continuing to improve their crops year after year.

Stockton Graham & Co. Ethiopia Jimma mapOur Ethiopia Limmu Natural comes from one such farm in the Limmu district, near the Kebena Forest about 30 miles north of the city Jimma. It is harvested between August and October at altitudes between 5900-7000 ft. The large Jimma region of Western Ethiopia is home to some of the most diverse varietals, cup profiles, and processing styles in the country. The Limmu Natural was a unanimously high scoring standout at the 2014/2015 Ethiopia Taste of Harvest competition, recognized by cuppers and judges alike.

Stockton Graham & Co. Ethiopia cherriesArabica coffee grows wild in many of Ethiopia’s lush mountain forests, and covers about 400,000 hectares (988,422 acres) of land throughout the country. It is Ethiopia’s most important export, directly affecting the lives of over 15 million people. Ethiopia produces roughly 220,462 tons of clean coffee each year, 98% of which is thanks to workers on small farms. Fortunately, more and more cooperatives and partnerships are forming that give these small scale farmers increased equity and access to services and compensation that they haven’t received in the past. At Stockton Graham & Co. our hats go off to these efforts that recognize value in every step of the process and continue to make phenomenal coffees like Limmu Natural Kossa Geshe possible.

To order our Ethiopia Limmu Natural, contact a Customer Care Associate at 800 835 5943.

NEW Single Origin Coffees from Ethiopia and Costa Rica!

SGC-coffeeStockton Graham & Co. is pleased to introduce a new Single Origin coffee, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, which is AVAILABLE NOW… and we also will introduce our new Costa Rica La Candelilla Estate later this month!

Ethiopian coffee  has a distinct fruity flavor that significantly brightens the drink. This year, our choice is the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, which offered the best flavor and cleanest taste in cuppings of Ethiopian beans, including a zest fruitiness combined with hints of spice. Click here for our full Single Origin listing.

Cupping Attributes
AROMA: Fruity – Sweet – Hints of Spices
BODY: Medium – Soft and Velvety
FLAVOR: Herbal – Lemon Zest – Sweet Chocolate
ACIDITY: Bright
AFTERTASTE: Clean – Crisp

2010 Ethiopian Cupping Caravan

Stockton Graham & Co.’s Director of Coffee and Roastmaster Brandon Riggs is attending the 2010 Ethiopian Cupping Caravan through Harrar.  He will be one of 12 international coffee buyers to meet  with the farmers and producers of some of the world’s best coffees. It is designed to benefit the buyers and producers to exchange information about what the buyers are looking for in a cup and to understand how farmers impact the cup quality.

“I’m really excited to visit the birthplace of coffee,” said Riggs.

He will be in Ethiopia for about a week in March.

Using all-wheel drive (4×4) vehicles and mobile cupping units, the teams of buyers and guides will explore the Harrar region to visit farms, cooperative mills and cup in-person with the people growing and processing the coffee.  The goal of this 2010 Cupping Caravan is improve communications and understandings of the coffees to ultimately result in higher quality for the consumer and higher prices for the farmers.

We are honored to have Brandon participate in this endeavor to encourage relationships between Stockton Graham & Co. and Ethiopian farmers to provide great coffees to our customers and to help the farmers achieve higher revenues and lowers costs.

The 2010 Ethiopia Cupping Caravans are organized by Boot Coffee Consulting, with a grant from the United States Agency for International Development, and features the participation of large sectors of the Ethiopian coffee industry, as well as 24 leading coffee companies from around the world.

Jeff Vojta
Stockton Graham & Co.