Producers: 1000 small holder farmers
Processor: Kife Gemeda
Zone: Gedeo Zone
Elevation: 1750-2200 MASL
Process: Fully washed, dried on raised beds
Variety: Karume, Tulenge and other Ethiopian Heirloom varieities.
Notes: Mango, Peach, Blackberry Pie, Cherry Cola, Fudge.
Weight: 250 Grams
This has been a year of intense conflict and uncertainty as well as hope and progress for the Gedeo people and all of coffee producing Ethiopia. As the harvest began and coffee cherries were first being picked, an uprising occurred in the Gedeo Zone against “foreign” tribes setting up businesses in the zone. A very large amount of washing stations and drying mills were damaged or destroyed and several people tragically lost their lives in the uprising. The fact that we have coffee from this area is almost miraculous. The fact that we have coffee from this area and it has been taken care of so well and tastes delicious is also miraculous.
On the other token, after much petition and encouragement, Ethiopia has now passed legislation making it legal for coffee buyers to deal directly with the washing stations when purchasing coffee. This gives Ethiopian coffee producers inspiration and hope that they will be able to make a better living selling coffee and it also allows for stronger relationship building and collaboration when it comes to quality in the cup.
People from all over the FisaGenet village in Kochere contributed to the coffee you are about drink. Our friends Michael and Emily from Catalyst Coffee, representing Dominion Trading, spent the whole harvest working with Ethiopian coffee producers. They were able to focus a lot of their energy in the shadows of Reko mountain, where this village lays. From making sure that equipment was calibrated to measuring moisture levels constantly, it was a true collaborative effort. In addition to paying the farmers a high premium for their ripe cherries, the mill workers and hand sorters were all paid 3 times their normal daily wages.
This is truly one of the most complex and sweet naturally processed coffees that I have roasted. The cherries are taken directly to the drying beds and carefully monitored by workers. As the sun dries the coffee, defective or damaged cherries are revealed and the workers remove them from the tables. Raised beds make it easy to stir the coffee cherries while they are drying and the increased airflow protects the coffee from becoming moldy and discourage over fermentation. When brewed manually or in a coffee maker, notes of creamy mango, blackberry, cherry and peach dominate the senses. I have found Espresso preparations yield an effervescent quality like Cherry Cola and lots of berry fudge.
We hope you enjoy this coffee as much as we have!
***Special thanks to Emily at Catalyst Coffee Consulting/ Dominion Trading for the use of her photos