This beautiful, washed Yirgacheffe was prepared at the ALEMU Washing Station in the Mendero Mountains just to the south of Sidama. ALEMU is one of several coffee preparation stations that is a part of the Kochere Coffee Cooperative, comprised of approximately 500 farmers.
The Table is, of course, a big fan of coffee from the Kochere Cooperative; it has seen several of their coffees served upon it over the past couple years. I remain impressed with the care and pride the members take in the cultivation and preparation of their coffees, as it shows beautifully in the cup on a very consistent basis.
Kochere is growing in popularity, showcasing the consistent diversity of Yirgacheffe’s unique terroir.
Close to 100,000 local inhabitants rely on coffee as their main crop with which to feed their families. Of those 100,000 residents, the Kochere Cooperative consists of about 500 smallholder farmers who use shared wet mills to process their coffee, where it is washed and then dried on elevated drying beds.
The Kochere micro-region has long been known as one of the best origins for fully washed southern Ethiopian coffees. So much so, in fact, that now, about thirty percent of all coffee bearing the Yirgacheffe name comes from this specific area. The combination of very high altitude and iron-rich, acidic soil creates the ideal growing situation to produce the bright, floral Yirgacheffe profile.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kochere ALEMU, from Barrington Coffee Company in Boston, Massachusetts, courtesy of Craft Coffee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Kochere, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
farm: ALEMU Washing Station
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Kochere Coffee Cooperative
elevation: 1800 – 2100 meters above sea level
cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
certifications: Direct Trade
The aroma coming off this Kochere is very sweet—floral, confectious, and fruity. Butterscotch, sugar, cherry blossoms, grapes, and citrus.
The first few sips of this coffee present my palate with a honeyed mouthfeel and flavors of molasses, brown sugar, buckwheat honey, and candied butterscotch. Underneath it all is a gorgeously winy green grape juiciness that is just waiting to erupt.
As it cools, that lime acidity really comes to the forefront of each sip, biting the tip of the tongue before crashing into the sides of my mouth with its tartness. However, tart isn’t the word I’d use to describe everything happening right now—complex, on the other hand, is a much better descriptor. Really nice, sweet, juicy flavors of green grapes (yeah—that flavor really erupted), apricot, raspberry, strawberry, fleshy peach, nectarine, cherry blossoms, lavender, and bergamot.
Light body; honey mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
Ethiopia’s incredibly unique terroir is showcased once again, as the Ethiopia Kochere ALEMU, from Barrington Coffee Company, is a beautifully delicate, elegant, and complex cup of coffee. Over and over again this year, Ethiopia has absolutely dazzled me with entirely singular coffees—and this one is no exception. It is exceptional.
Ethiopia’s coffee trade, as we all here at the Table know, is tightly regulated, so it’s unknown (unlikely) whether Barrington will be able to get their hands on this exact coffee again. So order this coffee and enjoy it while it lasts, because once it’s gone… It may very well be real gone.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.