New Ethiopian Coffee — Kochere

We are big on origin stories at Cartel. We love to know the how, what, why, where, and especially the who of every coffee we carry. Well, how about the ultimate origin story? What about the actual story of coffee itself?

If you haven’t heard the spurious yet fun tale of Kaldi the goatherd, you should google it. According to legend, coffee was actually first consumed by goats, who ultimately started dancing. Supposedly, it was initially considered by the monastic authorities to be evil and was later admitted to be blessed.

Whether Kaldi was a real person or not, we know for certain that coffee was first cultivated in Ethiopia and Yemen. There is even a traditional coffee ceremony involving roasting, grinding, and brewing all in one sitting which is still done there to this day.


One of many coffee sorters in Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia.


The most traditional coffee fruit removal technique also originated in Ethiopia and is what we now call ‘natural’ processing. Nowadays, however, washed Ethiopian coffees are also being produced in many of the higher growing regions with access to water and water conservation technology.

This more recent ability to produce washed coffees adds a great dimensionality to what Ethiopia has to offer. Washed Ethiopian coffees are often described as delicate, subtle, and balanced. Much of this nuance would be overshadowed by the big berry tastes associated with natural processing.

We get really excited about these kinds of global narratives. Coffee was born in Ethiopia and distributed around the world where new technologies were discovered and implemented. Now, those novelties are completing a circle by bringing out the fullness of what the oldest heirloom varieties of Coffea Arabica in Ethiopia have to offer.


Drying beds in Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia.


Kochere is a microregion within Yirgacheffe. Here, traditional garden farms (small family lots) are situated at ideal elevations for producing some of the most interesting heirloom coffees in the world.

You will find that this coffee has a very pleasant black tea component, with some very subtle tropical fruit and floral qualities. Naturally sweet and balanced, this is a true coffee lover’s choice.


[Images courtesy of Mercanta]