Buying from Ethiopia continues to be a challenge. The cupping table always shows some amazing coffees; however, buying through the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange continues to be difficult it you require some traceability or back story with the coffees. You have to become a detective. Good job I’m becoming quite good at spotting the clues.
This coffee comes from around 500 small holders who hand pick the cherries, and is grown at around 1850-2000 metres’ altitude (on average). These small holders then sell the freshly picked cherries to the Chelelektu mill, which is located in the Kochere zone just outside the town of Chelelektu.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Ethiopia Chelelektu, from PERC Coffee in Savannah, Georgia. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Kochere, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
farm: Chelelektu Washing Station
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Ethiopia Commodity Exchange
elevation: 1850 – 2000 meters above sea level
cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The aroma of the Ethiopia Chelelektu is absolutely beautiful. Sweet, delicate, perfumed, and somewhat complex with scents of purple flowers, honey, brown sugar, and zesty citrus.
Taking my first few sips of the coffee my palate is graced by silky flower petals—violet, in particular—and velvety lavender. These flavors are accentuated by a sugary sweet notes of raw honey and blueberry syrup. Much like the aroma, these first few sips are sweet, fragrant, and perfumed.
As it cools off, a zesty lemon acidity springs from the bottom of the cup and streams down the center of the palate, bringing along with it tart, juicy flavors of plum, honey crisp apple, which lift in the back to reveal Earl Grey tea and bergamot in the finish of each sip.
Medium body; silky mouthfeel; lemon acidity; clean finish.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Over the past month and a half or so, one coffee has absolutely dominated all of my social media feeds: the Ethiopa Chelelektu. Roasters from all over the world have been promoting their Chelelektu roasts relentlessly on Twitter and Facebook; if they were hashtagging “Chelelektu,” I’m sure it would’ve become a trending topic—that’s how much it’s being raved about. And, after tasting PERC Coffee’s Ethiopia Chelelektu for myself, I see what all the hype is about, and it’s well-deserved.
I’ve had some really incredible coffees from Ethiopia in my day—particularly over the past 18 months—and this, the Chelelektu, ranks among the very best of the lot.
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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.