Tomorrow, January 19, 2016, Starbucks launches the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Chelba into all of its U.S. and Canadian Reserve Starbucks locations. This is a fabulous coffee! I was inspired to write about it because today (1-18-16), I walked into the Fourth and Union Starbucks in downtown Seattle right when two partners were sampling it. They brewed it via the Clover brewing method and paired it with the Cherry Oat Bar. The Oat Cherry Bar made the fruity notes of the coffee pop even more.
I smelled the bag of coffee beans and it doesn’t disappoint: It’s like smelling a bunch of big red berries.
The Yirgacheffe Chelba is a natural-processed coffee. This is the most uncommon processing method, where the freshly-harvested coffee cherries are spread out over tarps (or something like that) and allowed to dry naturally in the sunshine, on the farmer’s land – perhaps even his backyard. The coffee cherries bask in the Ethiopian hot sun for about 20 days, allowing the coffee cherries to develop rich, natural berry flavors, present in your beautiful cup of coffee.
Starbucks sourced this coffee from about 700 small-holder farms in the Chelba village area of Ethiopia. It’s grown at very high elevations – about 6,000 feet to 6,500 feet. Starbucks describes it as “Lavender aromas, lemon-pepper spice notes and a lingering, fruity finish.”
Turning back to today, I walked into Fourth and Union Starbucks, and was greeted by Abby and Josephine sampling the coffee:
I tried the coffee, and then stepped a few feet away from the sampling table to catch up with the store manager, Jason, who was sitting very close by. Lots of people were trying the new coffee:
It was funny but no more than 5 minutes passed by, and it was all gone! Abby and Josephine volunteered to show themselves off on StarbucksMelody! They looked pretty darn happy that their sampling was a success!
I picked a bag of it to take home with me, and the store manager mentioned that one other person bought a bag of it too! Here’s what the coffee and bag look like. As with all the Reserve coffees, this coffee is roasted that Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle. By the way, I’ve heard it said that the artwork on the card – especially the tonal shades of red and cherry – was inspired by the changing colors of the coffee cherry, as it bathes in the sunshine for its natural processing.
Hope you get to take a bag of this great coffee home with you! No matter how often I write about other things, a great cup of coffee is my jam!
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