August coffee of the month~ Idido Yirgacheffe in Ethiopia

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August 26, 2013 by beanerbar

Kurume, Wolisho, Dega, and other heirloom types
Counter Culture Direct Trade Certified • Certified Organic • Shade Grown
We worked closely with the Idido Cooperative – just outside the town of Yirgacheffe in Ethiopia – to perfect this 2012/2013 harvest washed process coffee, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Look for notes of lemon drop, jasmine, and melon.



We have been purchasing coffee from this village – from now two different sources – off and on for more than 7 years. In 2010, we committed to buying a natural process coffee from the Idido Cooperative, without the cooperative ever producing a special preparation natural sundried coffee before. In this risk, we became the only roaster to purchase that coffee in 2010 and couldn’t have been happier with the results. We worked closely with the co-op to perfect this 2012/2013 harvest washed process coffee, and this version of their great coffee is an ode to what made Yirgacheffe a world-renown name.

Farm History
The Idido Cooperative was established in the late 1970s, and joined the Yirgacheffe Farmers Cooperative Union in 2002. We have yet to hear the actual meaning of Idido, but Idido is the name of the village the cooperative is located. Hence, why it is the name of the cooperative and the coffee.

Region: Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
Elevation: 1,800 – 2,100 meters

Yirgacheffe is likely the most famous or second-most famous town – Harrar being the other – in all of Ethiopia. When we first traveled to Yirgacheffe almost a decade ago, it was hard to believe that a town so tiny that if you blinked while driving through it you might miss it, could have such a reputation. The reputation, however, is there for a reason. Yirgacheffe revolutionized Ethiopian coffee back in the 1950s by building a washing station to process coffee in the “washed” style popular in Latin America at that time. Yirgacheffe quickly became famous for its sweetly complex, almost tea-like washed coffees, and the area around Yirgacheffe town remains heaven for coffee buyers around the world, including us. Fertile soil, staggering altitude, ideal climate, and unique heirloom coffee varieties make this a truly special coffee region.

General Place Information
As many coffee people know, Ethiopia is the indigenous birthplace of coffee, which is believed to have grown wild in the southwestern forests for millennia.Therefore, Ethiopia has the longest-standing traditions of coffee culture and cultivation in the world. Ethiopia’s coffee trees have cross-pollinated an unknown number of times, creating more genetic coffee diversity than all other producing countries combined. As for the coffee culture of Ethiopia, it stands alone, as well. No other country celebrates coffee with such high regard; the reverence of the daily coffee ceremony is a cultural treasure and an incredibly important part of the fabric of Ethiopian social, familial, and business life.

The Idido Cooperative is composed of a little more 1,000 members. The members of Idido have very small plots of land generally around their house. Total, they tend to have about 1.5 hectares of land, and in that 1.5 hectares about half is generally coffee. It is a diverse ecosystem with lots of different plants and shade. This area is also extremely densely populated (second only to Addis Ababa), making the diversity of the ecosystem that much more impressive. While forested land and tree diversity is an issue in many parts of Ethiopia including the south, compared to other regions of the world with this size of population, the amount shade canopy is impressive. While a large percentage of population here grows coffee as a cash crop, people are largely subsistence farmers. Enset (false banana) is the main food crop followed by many types of fruits, vegetables, and beans.

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