Semeon Abay Box (product)
  • Semeon Abay Box (product)
  • Semeon Abay (front)
  • Semeon Abay (rear)
  • Semeon Abay (product)

Semeon Abay (Ethiopia)

250 gr

*Competition Series*


Cup Notes
Elder Flower / Mango / Pineapple / Peach / Pear Cider / Cocoa

Suggested for espresso and filter


when we roast

We freshly roast to order all coffees on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (excluding national holidays), and ship the same day! Cut-off time is 11:59pm (UTC+1) of the day before the roast day. *We only ship whole beans*

Technical details

Quality Score
Premium Rarities
Several Small Farmers
2000 masl
Innovative (secret)
Arabica cultivar
Ethiopia Heirlooms
Picked in
January 2019
Arrived in
November 2019
Shipped in
GrainPro bags
Roast profile by
Rubens Gardelli
Roasted on
Customised roaster


This is the lot that Odd-Steinar Tøllefsen took to the World Brewer’s Cup in 2015 in his winning performance.
These beans come from the Adola washing station in Guji with support from the producer Israel Degfa, where some exciting experiments with processing have been made. This lot is processed using the technique called “bag fermentation”, and it is named after Semeon Abay, the person who manages this processing. 

The coffee resulting from the experiment does not look pretty, but its taste is outstanding. Rather than handpicking the coffee to remove all the less-than-gorgeously-looking beans, they are left in the lot, because they give a different dimension to the coffee. We at Gardelli have long become convinced that heterogeneous, “imperfect” beans render some truly outstanding cups.

The producer of this lot, Israel Degfa, is closely involved with the local community and coffee farmers. He grew up in a coffee producing area, and he shows great respect for the farmers, both as business partners and as people.
Israel builds schools to support the local communities. He contributes the land and pays for the construction, and ensures access to clean water for the students. The government is in charge of managing the school and paying its teachers, and Israel provides school materials occasionally. Israel has already built schools in Adola, Kercha (Mokonesa and Mokonesa Bulga) and is currently constructing schools in Gelana Gesha and Kilenso Mokonesa. This lot has been acquired through a buying programme by means of which a percentage of the profit is used by Israel for his school projects.

Semeon Abay (story)


Ethiopian Heirloom, why the generic name? It's estimated that there are somewhere in-between six and ten thousand coffee varietals in Ethiopia. And due to this colossal figure, there hasn’t been the genetic testing to allow buyers to distinguish the varietal. With the cross pollination that naturally happens in the wild, the name “Ethiopian Heirloom” exists as a catch-all phrase to describe this happenstance. However, that really makes Ethiopian quite a mystery and an interesting mystery as each village or town could potentially have a different varietal which could carry very unique properties.

Semeon Abay (variety)


This lot is processed using the technique called “bag fermentation”, and it is named after Semeon Abay, the person who manages this processing. Semeon has a long-term experience producing naturals with different methods. 

For this experimental processing, the top-quality beans are carefully selected: the cherries come from high altitudes, around 2000 masl, and they are floated and hand-sorted before fermentation begins. The cherries are then stuffed into polypropylene bags which are stacked in piles of two. Every 12 hours, for five days, the bags are rotated, so the bag on the bottom becomes the bag on the top. By restricting the air circulating around the cherries the development of lactic bacteria is facilitated, resulting in intense, fruity and sweet coffees. After five days the cherries are removed from the bags and spread in thin layers on the drying beds to stop the fermentation process. The average drying time is 15-20 days.

Semeon Abay (fermentation)


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