Yaye - Black Honey
ROAST | LIGHT MEDIUM
ORIGIN | ARBEGONA, CHERICHO, SIDAMA, ETHIOPIA
NOTES | PEACH RINGS, GRAPEFRUIT, DARK HONEY, BLACK TEA
The Arbegona woreda of Sidama is one of the highest coffee-growing elevations in all of Ethiopia. Here, high altitude and lower temperatures mean that coffee cherries ripen more slowly than is typical, resulting in excellent cup profiles that are sweet, bright, and sought-after. In fact, nearly everything about the coffee we are sharing with you today took place at a slower pace than we would typically expect, from its time spent on the tree to its extended stay at the washing station (more on that in a moment).
Operated in partnership with Catalyst Trade and its owner, Mr. Faysel Abdosh, the Yaye Washing Station is the aforementioned site where our coffee underwent a painstaking processing method known as black honey. For his part, Mr. Abdosh is not just the owner of this local washing station - he's also an activist and philanthropist, and he's made it his life's work to help raise awareness of the obstacles facing coffee growers and communities throughout Ethiopia. Along with several other benefactors, Mr. Abdosh is helping fund several projects throughout rural areas of Ethiopia, including: building two primary schools in the Aricha village of Yirgacheffe; constructing a water pipeline in the Shantawene village of Sidama; and installing a comprehensive high school in the Hamasho village, also located in Sidama. These efforts are making a real difference in the lives of rural farmers, workers, and communities in our beloved coffee-growing powerhouse of Ethiopia, and we could not be more honored to share with you a coffee which was touched by those same helpful hands.
Processing: Named for the color of the parchment, black honey-processed coffees have characteristic black splotches from the heavy mucilage load they carry from floating to drying. Post-harvest, coffee cherries undergo two rounds of hand-sorting to ensure the utmost uniformity for pulping. For the black honey process specifically, a disc pulper is calibrated to allow for maximal control and minimal speed of pulping. The goal here is to minimize parchment and seed damage while maximizing the amount of mucilage which remains intact prior to drying. After pulping, the cherries undergo a short fermentation period with all of that precious mucilage still intact. Finally, they are removed to shaded drying beds, where the beans dry slowly under a shade canopy with excellent airflow and lots of supervision. This slow drying time allows for a uniform distribution of moisture content throughout the cellular structure of the beans, and it is this uniformity which is considered critical in producing a superiorly honey-processed coffee.
In the cup: True to the name of its processing method, this coffee has a thick sweetness that reminds us of dark honey. Subtle floral notes reminded us of floral black tea. In the cup, the play between sweet fruit tones, like peach rings, and acidic notes, like grapefruit, made for a delightful tasting experience which reminded us of Sauvignon Blanc! Cheers.
Washing Station | Yaye Washing Station
Producers | smallholders in Arbegona
Process | black honey
Variety | 74110, 74158
Elevation | 1995 - 2230 masl