Ethiopia - Misty Valley
Tasting notes: Strawberry, bubble gum, juicy, chocolate, caramel
Produced by: Small farmers organized around the Idido/Misty Valley/Aricha station
Region: Gedeo Zone, Yirgacheffe, town of Idido
Variety: Indigenous heirloom
Altitude: 1900 masl
The Yirga Cheffe region in Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee and hands down the most celebrated coffee growing region in the world. Known for incredibly high altitudes and indigenous heirloom varietals, there is simply nothing like it.
This coffee comes from 1031 small farmers organized around the “Misty Valley” Coffee Mill, also often called Idido or Aricha. The Idido Mill has a reputation for producing some of the best coffee in the world. It is located in a majestic valley in the town of Idido, which is very close to the town of Yirgacheffe. The Cooperative was established in 1970 and in 2002 they joined the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperatives Union (YCFCU) in order to trade outside of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) – in so doing the cooperative is able to fetch a higher price for their coffee and it enables them to keep their coffee separate rather than be compiled with a bunch of other Ethiopian coffees.
The processing method for this coffee is called natural or dry process. This means the coffee seed (bean) remains inside the cherry for the entire processing duration. Properly processing coffee this way takes an incredible amount of work because there is always a risk the coffee cherry will rot rather than properly ferment around the bean inside. In order to ensure the coffee cherries undergo proper fermentation, the cherries are raked constantly so one side is not overexposed to the sun, and throughout the entire three week process workers sift through the cherries and remove ones that are over and under ripened, or that are fermenting unevenly. The process is meticulous and takes a great deal of intentionality, but the outcome is well worth it. Misty Valley is a forerunner in producing clean natural process coffees, the best of which are “like” washed coffees while still maintaining the body and big flavors the natural process offers.
As tends to be the case with some well cared for naturals, this coffee has a way of messing with conventional notions of what coffee is. It tastes like strawberry bubble gum, white grape juice, also reminding us of white gummy bears, and on the other end there’s also some chocolate, brown sugar, and caramel. The acidity is soft and balanced, and it has a pleasantly full body. We are really happy to offer this coffee!