This year, Cafe Imports highlighted a collection of exquisite coffees from individual farmer members of the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (YCFCU), and offer them to our customers as microlots. This lot comes from a producer named Sherebo Maro.
The YCFCU was organized in 2002 in an effort to establish stability amid fluctuating coffee prices. Recognized under the national labor union, the YCFCU represents more than 43,700 farmers over six districts, including Yirgacheffe, Gedeb, Wanago, Dilla Zuria, Bule, and Kochere.
Shortly after the co-op’s founding, the Ethiopian government, acting in support of small producers, added coffee into the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange (ECX), ostensibly to allow farmers to get paid for their coffee in a timely manner, among other things. The nature of a commodity exchange is to homogenize a product to sell it at a market price, which makes it impossible to allow for quality premiums to be paid to individual farmers. With this, we saw an overall decline in quality in coffee in Ethiopia.
Cooperatives like YCFCU are exempt from going through the ECX, so Cafe Imports works alongside YCFCU to pay premiums for better cherry selection at the washing-station level.*
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Ethiopia Sherebo Maro, from Halfwit Coffee Roasters in Chicago, Illinois. Feel free to pull up a chair.
origin: Mokonisa, Wenago, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
farm: Sherebo Maro Estate
producer: Sherebo Maro
elevation: 1866 – 1877 meters above sea level
cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The aroma of this Ethiopia Sherebo Maro is that of a classic washed Yirg, and I’m loving it. Gentle aromatics of florals, melon, stone fruit, and caramelized sugars.
Taking my first few sips of the coffee immediately post-brew, my palate is coated by a medium-bodied coffee which possesses a somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Sugary flavors of vanilla, honey, and cane sugar provide a base for a bright, sweet, and mildly tart and tangy melange of tropical fruits – cantaloupe, guava, pineapple, and tangerine. There is a delicate flutter of floral aromatics (black tea leaves, lilac) and each sip finishes with a clean, crisp snap.
Medium body; creamy mouthfeel; citric acidity; clean finish.
Halfwit Coffee’s Ethiopia Sherebo Maro is a wonderful example of a classic washed Yirgacheffe.
*content provided by Cafe Imports
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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.