Grown in the well-known Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia, this coffee comes from a collection of smallholder producers in the town of Gedeb.
Coffee is a family crop – grown by households within small gardens, on less than one hectare of land. Producers line their homes with coffee trees, and it is the primary source of income. It is common for producers to intercrop enset, the Ethiopian banana, avocados, and papaya to have additional food sources.
Producers maintain environmental conditions and the quality of their coffee by regulating soil health. This is done via incorporation of compost into their soils. Shade trees are also planted throughout each farm – providing an ideal climate for coffee whilst promoting nutrient health within the soil. Coffee producers in Ethiopia are classified as ‘passive organic,’ meaning that they have 100% organic production methods, but are unable to afford the high certification fees. Natural methods are used to fertilize the soil and prevent the spread of pests and diseases; especially since producers lack access to chemical inputs.
After the coffee is carefully hand-picked by each producer – they are carried to the washing station. This is sometimes an 8km journey that is done on foot, with a donkey, or with a motorbike. Upon arrival, the cherries are immediately sorted to remove under and overripe cherries. They are then submerged in a tank of water to begin the breakdown of the exterior fruit, or fermentation for 36 hours. After this, the cherries are dispersed on raised beds for 18 days, or until the ideal moisture content is reached.
Once dried, the cherries are trucked to the dry mill, located near the capital city, Addis Ababa. At the dry mill, a pre-cleaning machine removes foreign matter, metal, and stones. The huller and polisher remove the exterior dried pulp, parchment, and silver skin. Once perfectly polished, the coffee is graded based on screen size and placed in a gravity separator to remove lightweight and broken coffee beans. Colour sorters provide another layer of quality control, by removing defected beans. A final look by hand is done to ensure nothing was missed.
Varieties of coffee grown here are traditionally referred to as ‘heirloom’ by exporters – a catchall terminology which often masks the wide assortment of varieties that may be present within various regions...even, within farms. Many of these varieties will have been developed by Ethiopia’s Jimma Agricultural Research Centre (JARC), which, since the late 1960s, has worked to develop resistant and tasty varieties for the Ethiopian coffee industry and also to provide the agricultural extension training needed to cultivate them.
Region: Gedeb, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
Variety: Local Landraces 74110
Processing: Anaerobic Natural
Altitude: 1,983 M.A.S.L
This coffee is roasted for filter; and is recommended for brewing using the V60, Kalita, Mugen or other drip / immersion coffee makers.