Worka Chelbesa

About Worka Chelbesa

Origin: Ethiopia
Producer: Negusse Debela
Region: Gedeb, Yirgacheffe
Elevation: 2300 MASL
Process: Washed
Certification: Organic
We Taste: Persimmon, Lime and Bergamot


Worka Chelbesa is our premier coffee from the well-known Yirgacheffe coffee-growing region of Ethiopia. Yirgacheffe is often credited as being the "birthplace" of coffee—or, in other words, where it was discovered (read more about Yirgacheffe below!). In our experience, Yirgacheffe coffees are notable for their clear and fragrant floral notes.

The Worka Chelbesa is no exception! While cupping our initial batch, we picked up on some nice jasmine along with the bergamot. The cup is deliciously sweet and round, with a smooth lime-like acidity. And the broadest note we picked up on hearkened to fuyu persimmons — Ally's favorite fruit! When ripe, we love persimmons for their developed autumnal sweetness, which is almost honey-like. They seem to carry a trace of cinnamon.

About the Farm

These cherries were grown and harvested around the Worka Chelbesa community, which sits between 1900 - 2200 meters above sea level (MASL). Worka Chelbesa is located in the Gedeb District, which in turn is part of the larger Gedeo Zone. Coffees from the Gedeo Zone are collectively referred to as Yirgacheffe—even though Yirgacheffe is also a town and a district within the Gedeo Zone!

Worka Chelbesa has been making a name for itself over the last decade as they produce increasingly spectacular coffees.

Negusse Debela is relatively new to the coffee industry. He's been known more for his success in his computer business. But after being inspired by a pour over coffee he had on a trip to Minnesota (Casey's home state!), he understood the full potential of coffee from his home country. He returned and dove in wholeheartedly, with a goal of becoming one of the best quality exporters of coffee in Ethiopia. He began by touring coffee regions and studying farming and processing, and then enlisting the help of Abenezer Asafaw, a young coffee professional, as his quality and coffee manager.

Together, they began managing coffee processing sites around Nensebo, Yirgacheffe, and Guj, bought land to build their own processing sites, and in 2019, they completed their own dry mill.


The Worka Chelbessa washing station utilizes the traditional underwater fermentation popular in Ethiopia. The coffee is fermented underwater for approximately 24-48 hours. After fermentation the coffee is washed, and then soaked in clear water for about 2 hours. After the short soaking period, the coffee is dried on raised beds for approximately 10-14 days.