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Ethiopia, Gelgelu Edema, Natural Process

A rare glimpse into an amazingly specific combination of coffee people, places, and plants. While we generally focus on small farmers around the world, it is a rare privilege and joy to be able to access single farmer coffees in Ethiopia due to the legacy supply chains in place in the coffee trade that rely on an extraordinary number of middlemen. Gelgelu Edema's coffee is immaculately produced and he even provided information on the specific varieties of coffee grown on his 59 acre plot of land. Flavors are elegant and rich with berries and floral notes backed by classic chocolate and caramel sweetness. 

The Story

Gelgelu Edema Birisho is 78 years old, and grew up with no formal education, though he proudly boasts that of his eleven children one has their post-graduate MBA, six more completed their undergraduate degrees, and the youngest daughter was accepted and will be attending university in the coming year. Along with his wife Elfinesh Babayo, their son Mengistu (an agronomist) and Tsegaye (the MBA grad), Mr. Gelgelu has been growing coffee for an incredible 58 years.
He started growing coffee under Haile Selasie’s empire, and coffee value was low, so he sold to Arabian traders directly, bypassing the Addis auctions. In the 70s and 80s during the Derg regime, coffee production was nationalized and Gelgelu was obligated to sell the Coffee Board. After the downfall of Ethiopian communism and the rise of cooperatives, Gelgelu joined the Worka coop (part of the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union). In 2012, our parters at Royal Coffee engaged with the YCFCU in a one-of-a-kind private agreement to select “model” farmers and separate their coffees out before being regionally blended at the ECX, and Gelgelu was one of the very first such selections. He lent his support to others to join the program as well, offering advice and expertise on how to reap the rewards of their potential.


74110, 74112, Kurume, Wolisho
Banti Balo, Worka Sakaro kebele, Gedeb woreda, Gedeo zone, SNNP region, Ethiopia
October - December 2018
2040 - 2060 meters
"Natural" dried in the fruit on raised beds in the sun

Brewing Method Recommendation: Espresso and filter brew are our favorites methods for this unique coffee but this coffee performs well with most brewing methods.
    • Filter/Pourover Recipe
      • Dose · 25g 
      • Water · 400g
      • Temp · 203F
      • Ratio: 16 to 1 Water to Coffee for a full bodied cup. Use a little more water up to 17:1 ratio if you like the more delicate florals and lighter tropical fruit notes to come through.
      • Brew Time: 4:00 is a good starting point
    • Espresso Recipe
      • Coffee Dose · 20g 
      • Beverage Weight · 50g
      • Ratio: 2.5:1 
      • Brew Time: 30-26 seconds
      • Temp · 201F @ 9bar, tested on La Marzocco GB5

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