Atlas Coffee Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Blend

By

Bryan Huynh

on July 16, 2024

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The Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Blend is a medium-bodied coffee with complex yet delicately balanced fruity notes. The beans' subtle, dry aroma and shiny appearance are a result of an extended fermentation process that is carefully finished off in the roasting drums. With hints of dark cherries and plums, it promises to awaken your taste buds with flavors that are simply impossible to describe. Check out our Coffee Club page to compare and read reviews of our favorite coffee clubs:

Coffee Background 

In Ethiopia, the distinction between natural and washed processing has a long and storied history. Ethiopia is recognized for being the "birthplace of coffee," with coffee plants growing wild across the beautiful, green mountains. Long before the wet processing mill even existed, thousands of indigenous coffee varieties have been farmed and relished for centuries. Natural processing, in which freshly selected beans are stretched out to dry in the sun, has long been the original and most prevalent method of handling coffee. Many villagers collect their own coffee beans from wild bushes and dry them in their backyards.

When done correctly, organically processed beans keep a significant amount of fruit taste and frequently have a wine-like acidity. They may be robust and highly sweet. Cantaloupe, cherry, grape, lime, green apple, or even peach can be found in natural Ethiopian coffee. They have thicker bodies with a silky, velvety mouthfeel, or a syrupy, honey-like texture. They have greater heaviness, spiciness, and a more earthy flavor. Natural processing, on the other hand, may be difficult, and here is where a reputation for variability emerges: poorly-dried beans might taste sour or musty, or become brittle and unsuitable for roasting. Perhaps the most critical step in ensuring a high-quality green coffee bean is drying.

Wet processing was introduced into Ethiopia in the 1970s, and the first wet processing mill was located in Yirgacheffe. During the washing procedure, the beans are plunged in enormous large tanks of water and soaked until the fruit and mucilage fall off, after which they are dried. This removes the conventional, wine-like fruity or fermented tastes, yielding the well-known washed Yirgacheffe coffee: a lighter body with clean citrus and floral aromas. A washing mill is now an expensive investment for African content, not just in terms of cost, but also in terms of the massive volumes of water necessary to process the coffee, as well as the equipment required to handle waste water.

About Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Blend

Cupping Profile

  • Roast: Light City Roast/Medium
  • Body: Medium
  • Brightness: Medium/High
  • Flavor Notes: Citrus, Toffee, Honey, Floral, Lemon, very slight Blueberry

Origin Information

  • Altitude: 1,770 – 2,200 masl
  • Soil: Volcanic soil, iron-rich, acidic
  • Region: Yirgacheffe 
  • Process: Natural, wet processed and dried on raised beds
  • Harvest: October- January
  • Varietals: Heirloom Types
  • Certification: Conventional, USDA Organic

Cupping Scores

Published by the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the average cupping score was 88/100 for this blend.

The Cupping Form allows you to note the following coffee flavor qualities: Fragrance/Aroma, Flavor, Aftertaste, Acidity, Body, Balance, Uniformity, Clean Cup, Sweetness, Defects, and Overall. These are evaluated on a 16-point scale indicating quality levels in quarter-point increments ranging from 6 to 9. To score your coffee, go through each specific flavor attribute and mark the points based on your own personal appraisal. 

Quality Scale

  • Good: 6-6:75
  • Very good: 7 - 7.75
  • Excellent: 8 - 8.75
  • Outstanding: 9 - 9.75

The Final Score is calculated by adding the individual scores for each of the key criteria in the "Total Score" box. Defects are then subtracted from the “Total Score” to arrive at a “Final Score.” The Scoring Key below has shown to be an effective technique to represent the range of coffee quality for the Final Score.

Total Score Quality Classification

  • Outstanding: 90-100
  • Excellent: 85-89.99
  • Very Good: 80-84.99
  • Good: <80

(Outstanding, excellent, and very good are considered Specialty coffee, while anything below that is not.)

Description

Tasting Notes: From light to dark, this cup is delicious. Clean flowery acidity with red fruit tones complemented by heavier chocolate spice overtones. Unlike the washed processed, this cup has a considerably higher concentration of traditional Yirgacheffe spice notes, which complement the peachy and red fruit tones on the front end of the cup. Lighter roasts will have more acidity, but that's where this cup excels. Medium roasts smooth out the cup slightly but remove the more fruity acidity. However, the red fruit flavors continue to shine through the spicy tones regardless of roast intensity. Dark roasts provide intense dark chocolate with herbal spice and fruitiness as the cup progresses.

Roasting Notes: A cool cup from light to dark, but erroring closer to the second crack than the first. This cup isn't only about fermented fruit; it's also about rich tea-like and floral spice flavors that come together in a balanced way around a powerful medium roast. Natural and simple to roast.

How is This Coffee Different From the Other Coffee?

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Blend is a medium-bodied coffee with complex yet delicately balanced fruity notes. The acidity in the coffee plays a significant role in balancing out the natural sweetness. Thanks to the mildly tart and sweet notes, it is known to keep you awake. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Blend offers delicious flavors.

What Makes The Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Blend?

The Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Blend is a complex and highly sweetened cup well rounded out by its earthy acidity. The beans' subtle, dry aroma and shiny appearance result from an extended fermentation process that is carefully completed in the roasting drums. With hints of dark cherries and plums, it promises to quench your thirst.

What Type of Roast Do You Recommend?

This coffee can be enjoyed in a medium or dark roast, depending on your personal preference. To make it medium-bodied, we recommend roasting it for 16 minutes at a temperature of around 450⁰F, while to make it dark-roasted, we recommend roasting for 24 minutes at 420⁰F.

Where is it Grown?

Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee. The Tana River area, which borders Lake Victoria, has had a long history of coffee production in the country. Although most of the beans produced in this area are washed process style, some growers focus on producing natural process beans such as the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe blend.

How is This Coffee Made?

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Blend is produced through the dry or natural process. The dry process involves drying the ripe red coffee cherries on raised beds for two weeks, after which they are hulled and set out to dry on raised beds for another 12 to 15 days. This results in highly bright and flavorful beans that go through a long natural fermentation and drying process, resulting in a deep and complex flavor.

What's the Brewing Process?

The coffee beans are first spread out on raised beds and dried in the sun. Once they are dry, they are hand-picked and sorted. After this, they are mixed with a small number of ground coffee beans to ensure uniformity. Finally, the beans undergo a long, natural fermentation process that is carefully watched over by our master roasters.

How Should it Be Store?

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Blend is best consumed as soon as received but can also be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. The coffee will continue to taste its best if you store it in the same container that you received it in. This will help keep any additional flavors from being extracted into your coffee. Check out all of the top coffee club subscriptions here. 

Ways to Enjoy Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Blend

This blend shines in pour-overs, in light to medium roasts but is also great on Drip, French Press, and high-dilution Aeropress. To get started, we recommend using a burr-grinder to prepare your coffee. After that, fill the filter with ground coffee, place it inside a cone or Chemex, and add hot water. Once your water is at the right temperature, let the coffee brew for about 4 minutes. Finally, carefully pour out the coffee while leaving the sediment behind.

Conclusion

If you want to branch away from the boring, typical coffee blends, then look no further! The Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Blend will surely show you a taste of what Ethiopia is really like. This brew has a delicate, flowery, and tea-like flavor profile, as well as shimmering citrus overtones and a clean, light, and balanced body. It boasts flavor tones of berries, nuts, chocolate, lemon, and wine. Who knows, Ethiopian coffee may become your new java passion since it is as rich in taste and complexity.

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About the Author

Product Tester & Writer

Bryan Huynh

Product Tester & Writer

Bryan Huynh is a determined Product Tester & Writer. Being a coffee addict, it is only right that he mainly tests and reviews different coffee from around the world and coffee subscription services.

Bryan Huynh is a determined Product Tester & Writer. Being a coffee addict, it is only right that he mainly tests and reviews different coffee from around the world and coffee subscription services.