Ethiopia Cup of Excellence Jury Finalist
Varietal: Heirloom Blend
Region: Gedeb, Gedeo Zone
Altitude: 1950 - 2500m
Harvest: Jan 23
The Cappuccino Kid says...
"A cup of excellence national jury selection this meticulously processed natural coffee is a flavor explosion of red and purple fruits. Rich and full bodied, it drinks like a coffee cabernet sav.”
Ageze Balcha Begna’s coffee was a national jury selection at this year’s Cup of Excellence (COE) competition. Ageze is a 68-year-old farmer with 9 children and 42 years of coffee-growing experience. He has been surrounded by coffee since childhood, growing up in a family that depended on it for their livelihood, and now overseeing a family of his own supported by the trade. Ageze’s farm is 2.72 hectares in size and 100% planted with coffee. This natural process microlot was handpicked and dried on raised beds on Ageze’s own property, carefully supervised and sorted specifically for the COE competition.
The world’s first Cup of Excellence competition took place in Brazil in 1999 and quickly became known as the world’s best discovery mechanism for quality. Each competition is origin-specific and involves multiple national selection rounds, a final competition with an international judging panel, and an online auction for the top 30 high-scoring submissions. All submissions are cupped blind throughout the entire competition, leaving judges only the cup quality to assess, and each submission is cupped up to five times. Winning producers are often fabulously rewarded with record-setting prices for their coffee, not to mention lifelong status for such an achievement.
About The Gedeo Zone and Gedeb
Gedeo zone is a dense and competitive highland zone in southern Ethiopia also known as “Yirgacheffe”, after its most famous central district. The zone has a history of beguilingly fragrant and effusive coffees, both fully washed (this was the first area of Ethiopia to pulp and ferment coffee) and naturals. Gedeb is one of 8 districts that makes up Gedeo, but it has a terroir, history, and community all its own that merits unique designation. The municipality of Gedeb itself is a is a bustling outpost that links commerce between the Guji and Gedeo Zones. It contains an expansive network of processing stations who buy cherry from across zone borders. Coffee producers here would argue (and we would agree) their coffee profiles are not exactly Yirgacheffe, or Guji, but something of their own. The communities surrounding Gedeb reach some of the highest growing elevations for coffee in the world and are a truly enchanting part of the local landscape. Coffees from this area, much closer to the Guji Zone than the rest of Yirgacheffe, can be some of the more explosive cup profiles we see from anywhere in Ethiopia. Naturals tend to have perfume-like volatiles, and fully washed lots are often sparklingly clean and fruit candy-like in structure.