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Hambela Arifi Washed

The Bourbon varietal creates a rounder take on the washed Ethiopia profile, with bergamot florals followed by soft apricot and black tea.
  • This lot was separated from the rest of the mill’s production due to the varietals the contributing farmers were growing.
  • The coffee trees these farmers have closely resemble modern Bourbon, and have similar round and sweet characteristics.
  • This is an aromatic washed Bourbon lot, with notes of bergamot followed by soft and sweet apricot, and a crisp black tea finish.
  • Notes: Bergamot, Apricot and Black Tea.

Expect notes of:



Black Tea

About the coffee

Hambela Arifi Washed

Coffee production in Ethiopia is distinct from most of the rest of the world, with very different coffee varieties grown in very different systems, even when compared to neighbouring countries like Kenya. Coffee still often grows semi-wild, and in some cases completely wild. Apart from some regions of neighbouring South Sudan, Ethiopia is the only country in which coffee is found growing in this way, and the level of genetic diversity is not seen anywhere else. This is what makes finding single varietal lots in Ethiopia so exciting. Another unique aspect of working as a coffee buyer in Ethiopia is the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, or ECX, founded in 2008 to protect all of Ethiopia’s (mainly agricultural) exports. From 2008, all coffee had to be exported through the ECX by law, which meant traceability was lost, and it was almost impossible to secure the same coffee every year. Of course those of us in the speciality industry pushed for change, and in 2017 the ECX announced wholesale change to the system. Among other initiatives, small to medium sized buyers like us were allowed to make agreements with privately owned washing stations outside the ECX auction system, in an attempt to create mutually beneficial relationships between progressive mills and buyers willing to pay a premium for the quality they deliver.

About the coffee

Hambela Arifi

For these coffees we’ve worked with Belgian-based coffee buyer Cup A Lot. They have been buying coffee from the Hambela Arifi station in the Guji zone for several years now, and have taken full advantage of the closer relationships allowed by the new system. The fertile soils of the Hambela Woreda, in the South-Western Guji zone, combine with ideal climate conditions and high altitude to create ideal conditions for producing high quality coffees. This is true of many stations in this part of the country, which also includes the famous town of Yirgacheffe, but the uncharted territory created by the new Ethiopian system requires mutual trust and goals in order to navigate effectively. For example, the mill owners recently discovered that several of the more than 5000 farmers delivering to the mill have trees that closely resemble modern Bourbon varietal plant stock, both physically and in the cup. Cup A Lot asked if they could purchase a separated lot consisting of coffee only from these farmers, if they were to offer a monetary bonus above what they normally pay. The managers at Hambela Arifi were happy to oblige, and we’re excited to have played our small part in the chain of these delicious coffees. This washed lot is a slightly rounder take on the classic washed Ethiopia profile, with bergamot florals followed by soft apricot, and a crisp tea-like finish.

About La Cabra

A focus on raw material

If we don’t feel that a coffee suits our style or what we like to present, we simply won’t buy it. Sometimes this leads to issues in green buying; we have to pay very close attention, to a level of green quality that will support this approach, and to how this will develop over the life of a coffee. We are required to focus heavily on the freshness of coffee, both green and roasted, to avoid introducing taints into our cups. We always use clean and fresh water, of an ideal mineral content to present the coffee in its best possible light. Once we have the correct roasting profile, water, and coffee age, the act of brewing is much more simple. A wide variance in brewing parameters can still produce delicious and transparent cups. It is also important to note that this is not always the most consistent approach. The coffee is laid completely bare, so any flaw with the raw material is clearly on show. We could often develop some coffees slightly more, to make them more approachable or easy to work with, but wavering from our philosophy like this would compromise our commitment to complete transparency in coffee.

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Producer Hambela Arifi
Region Guji
Altitude 2200 masl
Varietal Bourbon
Process Washed
Harvest january 2020


The washed process involves completely removing both the cherry and the mucilage from the outside of the parchment with the use of friction, fermentation and water. After being harvested, the coffee cherry is then sliced open by either a metal or a sharp plastic blade. The two seeds (also known as beans) are pushed out of the cherry, which leaves the seed with mucilage as their outermost layer. It is essential in the washed process that all mucilage is removed from the seed which leaves only the flavor that developed in the cell structure of the seed prior to processing.

La Cabra

Brew Guides

You can brew our coffees any way you want it is just a matter of the right ratios.





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