Time to revisit the Chelba Cooperative, in Chelba, Yirgacheffe.
This coffee is produced by a farmer group that is made up of 500 people. On average, each farmer owns two to five hectares of land. After the coffee cherries are picked, they are sorted and pulped immediately, and then fermented in water for up to two days to remove the mucilage. After the fermentation stage, the coffee is washed in long troughs.
All the water used comes from the Chelba River, high in in the surrounding mountains. After being washed, the coffee is placed on drying beds, and is turned every few hours to ensure even drying. The drying process can take anywhere from eight to ten days, depending on the weather. Currently, the Chelba Washing Station has 180 drying beds, and plans on building 80 more in the near future.
The Chelba washng station processes beans of local farmers. After the coffee cherries are picked they are sorted and pulped immediately at Chelba, then fermented in water for up to two days to remove the mucilage.
After fermentation the coffee is washed in long troughs, filled by water of the Chelba River. After washing the coffee is placed on drying beds, and is turned every few hours to ensure even drying. This drying process can take anywhere from eight to ten days depending on the weather. Currently, the Chelba Washing Station has 180 drying beds, and plans on building more.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Ethiopia Chelba Cooperative, from Black Oak Coffee Roastersd in Ukiah, California. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Chelba, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
farm: Chelba Washing Station
producer: smallholder farmers
elevation: 1800 – 2100 meters above sea level
cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The Chelba’s aroma is absolutely out of this world, with booming scents of dark chocolate, sea salt, graham cracker, citrus, violet and cherry blossom floral aromatics.
Immediately post-brew, spices and floral aromatics present themselves up front, tickling the tip of the tongue then fluttering down the sides of it: violet, lavender, honeysuckle, bergamot, ginger. It’s beautiful and delicate with its tea-like profile and complexion. Meanwhile, savory flavory notes of raw cocoa and sweet, sweet honey.
As it cools off, complex and juicy fruits push through the front and doesn’t flood over the palate so much as it lazily oozes over it with its jelly texture. And there are a lot of fruit flavors happening at this point in the cup: nectarine, cherry, raspberry, plum, raisin, lemon, orange, pomegranate, and fermented grape.
Medium body; jelly mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.
the bottom line:
Sweet, fragrant, supple, fruity, floral—the Ethiopia Chelba Cooperative, from Black Oak Coffee Roasters, has it all. This was such a unique, dynamic, and structured cup of coffee. More importantly than all of that bugaboo, though, it’s a delicious cup of coffee.
I’ve really been taken with these sorts of coffees lately—coffees that are elegant and voluptuous. This Chelba is definitely that; and then some.
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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.