Yabitu Koba is a native variety coffee grown in the forested region of Uraga.
It is around this time of year where we begin to see fresh Ethiopian coffees arrive in the warehouse. Shortly after their arrival, they find a cherished spot on the menus across our cafes. Known for their distinct flavor profile, Ethiopian coffees are often associated with florality, fruit flavors, and layered complexity – this time of year is a delight for any lover of coffee. This year, Madcap will have some stellar selections, with old favorites and new standouts on our menu. Most recently, we have released Yabitu Koba and we couldn’t be more excited to be roasting and sharing this coffee.
Yabitu Koba coffee grows within the dense forests of the Uraga District, which is located in the Guji zone of Southern Ethiopia. A natural canopy and high elevations between 2150-2300 meters set the stage to showcase the native varieties that are meticulously harvested and processed throughout the producing area. Yabitu Koba, named after the sub-forest where the coffee is grown, is a vibrant, nuanced coffee that tastes like eating peach cobbler and sipping on fresh steeped mint tea on a sunny afternoon.
Uraga District is in the deep south of Ethiopia, about as far south as you can go and still find coffee growing. The Guji Zone, which encompasses Uraga, as a whole is quite a bit newer to the scene compared to its neighbors in the north (Yirgacheffe and Sidamo) when it comes to producing coffee. The vast majority of them only began the cultivation process in the past 2-3 decades and up until quite recently, all of the coffee from Guji was classified as “Sidamo coffee.” In the cup, compared to Yirgacheffe and Sidamo, Guji coffee typically presents itself with a denser structure and the best are layered with fresh berries and syrupy sweetness, while still maintaining clear floral complexity. Only recently has Uraga been traded as its own classification rather than being lumped in as simply Guji coffee.
In many countries, this classification may find itself less relevant but, with the presence of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX), classifications have been essential to purchasing coffees. With the laws loosening up over the past two seasons, there has been an opportunity to go a few steps further than just naming a classification. Legally, private washing stations are now able to trade coffee without going through the ECX auction. This is the case with our Uraga Forest coffees.
Yabitu Koba washing station is owned and operated by Feku Jebril, a lifelong coffee trader with a dedication to quality. Beyond a prime environment and Ethiopian landrace varieties, it is his meticulous processing that makes this coffee sing. Earlier this summer, we released coffee from Feku’s brother, Abdi, who produces coffee in Larcho Torka, which is another sub-forest bordering Yabitu Koba. We’ve purchased Feku’s coffee in years past, and we are excited to have had both of their coffees on our menu this year.
We’ve been buying coffee from the forests of Uraga on and off for the past four seasons at Madcap, and we are thrilled to have two selections from distinct areas grace our menu this season. Yabitu Koba is one of many fresh Ethiopian coffees on our menu throughout the summer months, so keep an eye on our menu for new delicious additions. Click here to order a bag of Yabitu Koba online, or pick one up in our cafés or through our wholesale partners.