Region: Bensa, SNNP
Altitude: 1,800 - 1,950 MASL
Cupping Notes: Melon, Orange, Floral, Sugarcane
Description: The Bensa woreda (village) is located in the Sidama Zone, which is in the Southern Nations, Nationalitites and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR). The coffee grown here is a short distance from the famed motherland of coffee, Yirgacheffe. Of course, short distances in the mountains of Ethiopia aren’t the same as on highways in the US — Bensa is just over 3 hours from Yirgacheffe. The region has many microclimates and unique landrace varieties which contribute to complex and varying cup profiles. Upon arriving to the washing station, this washed lot was floated to sort out low density cherries and then depulped to remove the skin of the fruit. Fermentation, to remove the mucilage, can take up to 72 hours, during which time the water is changed 3 times. After fermentation, the coffee is floated one more time, and then moved to beds for drying which takes about 12 days, depending on the weather conditions. Once fully dried, the coffee makes the 8+ hour journey to Addis Ababa, where it will be hulled, color sorted, and bagged for export.
We feel like a kid in the candy store when deciding which washed Ethiopian coffees to bring in, but when you remember that Reese’s exist, and nothing else matters. Tasting this lot was like remembering that Reese’s exist. It’s complex and vibrant with fruity notes of Melon and Orange, sweetness of biting into fresh Sugarcane, and as with many great Ethiopians, has Floral finish.