Tastes Like: Apricot, Jasmine Tea, and Dried Mango.
Region: Nansebo, Sidama, Ethiopia
Producer: Small holder farmers
Altitude: 1900 masl
Varietal: Heirloom Varietals
Process: Fully Washed
This coffee comes to us from a collective of 1,200 small-holder producers in the West Arsi Zone of Ethiopia. Coffees in this zone are grown near wanza, bamboo and avocado trees and are intercropped with various food crops. Most coffee producers in this area also grow wheat and teff, the grain used to produce the omnipresent injera, served as a part of every Ethiopian meal.
The average farm size in the area is 2-3 hectares, a good bit larger than the Ethiopian average of .5-2 hectares. Coffee farming in this area, though still informal, is more intentional than in other areas of Ethiopia. In Ethiopia, unlike most other coffee origins, the producers pick their own coffee with the help of family rather than relying on transient labor for harvesting. Washing stations typically pay a premium to the producer for delivering exclusively ripe cherries.
Once the washing station purchases the coffee is density sorted and then depupled. The heavy, healthy, coffee sinks to the bottom and the unhealthy “floaters” are separated off. After depulping the coffee is fermented for 36-72 hours to remove most of the sticky layer of mucilage that clings to the depulped coffee. With this specific lot, not all of the mucilage is removed during fermentation. After fermentation, the coffee is agitated in washing channels with wooden takes and then moved to raised beds to dry. Leaving some mucilage intact through processing leads to a more fruit forward cup.
After drying, the coffee is sorted and separated by screen size 13-17 (size classifications for raw coffee) This particular lot is screen size 15. Each screen size offers different characteristics in the cup. After screen size separation the coffee then goes through gravimetric/density sorting, optical sorting and hand sorting to remove any defects. Because of the meticulous nature of processing with this coffee, each person working in the processing preparation was paid an additional 110 birr on top of their normal wages of 35 birr per day.
*Source Catalyst Coffee Consulting
This coffee is brought to us by our partners in Ethiopia, Catalyst Coffee Consulting and Dominion Trading. They are a team of people in The United States and Ethiopia who are obsessively focused on one mission: shifting the way coffee is traded in Ethiopia to sustainability for everybody throughout the value chain.
Since 2001 Dominion Trading has worked in relationship-centric coffee importing in Ethiopia, joined by Catalyst in 2014 as boots-on-the-ground sourcing and quality control, project oversight and storytelling.