This offering comes to us from the Koke village’s washing station, located in the Karcha district of Ethiopia’s Guji region. The washing station has about 500 farmers that are registered to delivery cherry throughout the harvest season. The average farm size is between 1-4 hectares and many farmers opt to plant supplemental cabbage beneath their coffee trees. As for processing, cherries are typically sorted and float to remove unwanted and underipe coffee. They are then pulped, the coffee is fermented and washed for an average period of 36-48 hours before it is placed on raised beds to dry for an average period of 10 days.
Aside from its near-legendary status as the "birthplace" of Arabica coffee, there is much to love about Ethiopia as a producing nation, including but not limited to the incredible diversity of flavor and character that exists among microregions, specifically within the southwestern Gedeo Zone of Yirgacheffe within the region of Sidama -- areas whose names alone conjure thoughts of the finest coffees in the world. Coffee was literally made to thrive in the lush environment Yirgacheffe’s forests provide, developing nuanced floral characteristics, articulate sweetness and sparkling acidity. However, coffee has also adapted to the more arid climate of Harrar, in the northeast of the country; the varieties planted there have historically had more chocolatey, rich undertones. Processing, of course, also plays a significant part in what makes Ethiopian coffees distinct -- both distinctly Ethiopian, as well as distinct from one another, washed or natural. One of the other things that make Ethiopia distinct as a growing country is the complexity involved in the coffee market there, and the myriad systems and customs that ensure there's never a dull moment in sourcing the best lots, whether they are from individual farms, co-operatives or grower groups, or from the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX), a market institution founded in 2008 in attempt to protect small farmers from various risks and market forces that threaten the profitability of their harvest. Cafe Imports is proud to offer a variety of Ethiopian coffees -- an inventory not simply diverse in flavor, but that also represents the various relationships and buying practices that exist within coffee's native region.