Located in the Southern part of Sidamo, Yirgacheffe used to be a part of the bigger Sidamo region; it was then recognized as a standalone micro-region for its exceptional washed coffee production. Within this micro-region, Aricha slowly became a hot-topic among coffee hunters for its outstanding processing and flavours.
Contrary to commercial coffee farms who clear vast areas of lands just to grow coffee, the coffees produced by Aricha farmers are sometimes known as “garden coffee” – where coffees are grown among various other crops, mostly in their backyards with free-ranging livestocks. At an extremely high altitude of 2000-2200 m.a.s.l. and naturally colder climate, the coffees are cultivated slowly in a fertile volcanic soils full of minerals and nitrogen, resulting in denser fruits and coffee seeds (imagine all the nutrients and sweetness concentrated in a small body).
Years of coffee farming has taught the local farmers to harvest only the fully ripe cherries for its maximum potential – usually the fully red cherries, a stage before the cherries spoil and turn black. The carefully harvested coffee are then sent to the privately own Aricha processing stations who provide milling and processing services. Over years, the smallholder farmers around the Aricha washing station prove their worth as be one of the best in Ethiopia with highly scored specialty coffees (for example,this coffeeandthis coffee).
Drinking this batch of Aricha is akin to drinking a cup of tantalizing mixed berries tea with a surprising accent of orange marmalade. Natural coffee lovers should not miss this delicious coffee!