The district of Abaya runs along the western limit of Gedeo Zone, the narrow southern region teeming with dense farming communities and hyper-competitive processors known as “Yirgacheffe”. Abaya district, while technically outside of Gedeo Zone and a part of the Oromia region, does have a few corners that cross the boarder into Gedeo. It’s in one of these small overlaps that the Negele Gorbitu cooperative has its washing station. Because of this, and because of its characteristic “Yirgacheffe” cup profile (doubtless because cooperative members are living and farming across various Gedeo communities) Negele Gorbitu is firmly considered a quintessential “Yirgacheffe” cooperative.
Negele Gorbitu is a smaller cooperative for this region with fewer than 500 members, 450 of which are certified organic. Farmers average about 4 hectares each and often interplant their coffee with beans and enset. Overnight conditions on this side of Gedeo are often cold and humid, extending fermentation and drying times at the processing site. The cooperative retains 9 full time staff throughout the year and an additional 136 during harvest. Coffees from Negele Gorbitu tend to be delicate but full flavored, with citrus and stone fruit flavors, and tart, fragrant coffee cherry notes from the sundried process.