Natural process coffees can be many things, as well as crowd dividers. Processing has improved hugely over the last few decades, to the point that naturals are often as clean as washed coffees, just with riper complexity. Aricha is such a great example of a fruity, fresh complex coffee that you can brew in almost any way.
Top Trumps: Aricha Washing Station
Aricha Washing Station: Founded by Boledu in partnership with Abyote Ageze and local farmers.
State: Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region/SNNP/Zone: Gedeo District: Yirgacheffe
Kebele (Village): Aricha
Altitude range: 1950-2100 meters above sea level.
Manager: Adham Yonis
Harvest: November to February
Rainy season: March to September with a dry month in May.
Average farm size: Up to 3 hectares
Roast; Light filter.
Cup potential. 🥣
Aromatics: Ripe, floral, and fruity| Body: Light-Medium Acidity: Sweet citrus, strawberry jam, and more…
Upfront this Aricha is ripe and sugary citrus, sweet like strawberry jam and stewed apple with a long citrus finish. On cooling, there is a period where the coffee becomes sweeter and ripe like Pedro Ximenez sherry or date liquor (if there is such a thing?) all with that refreshing citrus finish. On the final pass, this became lemon curd, maple, floral, and tropical fruit.
Espresso: 16-18g into 45-50g for espresso. 93-94C 28-33 seconds. Bold, juicy, citric, and winey.
6oz Milk-based drinks (dairy) 16-18g into 32-36g of espresso liquid (effectively a 1:2 ratio) in 27+ seconds. This is a creamy cocktail and so bold for such a light roast.
9oz Milk-based drinks (same as above). Like the 6oz, this is still a potent and delicious brew. What I would add here is that if you are brewing lots of this, it is all too easy to sacrifice the espresso at the expense of extracting more for the milk-based drinks. There is plenty of soluble there.
Aricha is one of the washing stations in Yirgacheffe that supply Mebrahtu (means Light in the local language) Aynalem’s exporting business, Boledu Industrial. The station and dry mill were founded by Boledu in partnership with Abyote Ageze and local farmers. “We are the 2nd generation of coffee growers and now traders in our families. We decided to build a natural coffee processing site in Aricha to be used by the smallholders living in the region. Roughly 1500 growers use the facility and we have 220 raised African beds for coffee drying,” explains Mebrahtu.
“The farmers we work with have been working with us for a good time. Before the harvest, we train them and explain the standards of cherry collection for specialty coffee and the premiums that come with it. We have a quality supervisor at the washing stations looking into who is bringing good quality and who isn’t. Their job is really important! They know when someone mixes unripe cherries with the ripe ones!
Aricha (Boledo) pays over and above the going rates for cherry. The mill has to be careful about the quality that they receive in harvest, as it can be as much as 10-16,000 Kgs per day. This is a lot to scrutinise!