February Single Origin: Chelelektu / by Scott Jones


Nearby Yirgacheffe, one of the finest coffee growing regions of Ethiopia, is the town of Chelelektu, where the washing station that this coffee is sourced from is located. Established in 2015, the washing station processes beans from the harvest of growers in the surrounding area. Brewed for espresso or filter, we have found citric and floral notes throughout.

It is no surprise that coffees from this region of Ethiopia are among the most highly regarded coffees in the world. Ethiopia itself is the homeland of the coffee bean, and growers have generations of knowledge and tradition that they draw upon when cultivating and processing coffee. 

The unique terroir of the region comes from its natural high altitude. In the Gedeo zone, within which the Chelelektu washing station is located, the high Ethiopian plateau ranges from 1268 metres above sea level to 2993 metres. With high altitudes at a tropical latitude, the resulting landscape is lush and fertile, perfect for producing high quality coffee.

Further contributing to the quality of this coffee bean is the lack of fertilisers and hence the passive organic nature of the product. A lack of fertiliser use allows for the continual cultivation of heirloom varietals, and the natural diversity of flavour that results from these unique breeds. Allowing for the development of genetic difference at the point of growing results in a continually surprising and exciting coffee brew. 

Once grown, the coffee production system in Ethiopia, which is centralised under the Ethiopia Coffee Exchange, limits traceability to the washing station. This means that the coffee we get is a product of the community in which it is grown, rather than an individual farmer. One happy consequence of this is that cup characteristics are constantly evolving, and each brew is unique. 

For a taste of the complexities and levels of flavour that coffee can produce, grab a bag of Chelelektu this month.