PRODUCER: Ch'Ire Ameli station
ELEVATION: 1950-2150 mt
Cup Notes:Strawberry / Blueberry / Orange / Lime / Papaya
Suggested for espresso and filter
Roasting date: less than 10 days
THE STORY BEHIND
The Guji region of Sidamo, along the Mora Mora
River in southern Ethiopia, produces “forest coffee”, or wild growing coffee
trees. The region also has numerous small coffee farms that pool their coffee
in a co-op for milling and export. The typical variety of the Guji region is
heirloom. It is important to us is that it is not a modern cultivar, but a
traditional coffee, strikingly similar to the coffees grown there from the
We chose this lot directly at the source after extensive cupping that started
back in February.
This is the fourth year we have been buying Nensebo, and we are astonished
every time we taste it!
This lot was processed at the Ch'Ire Ameli washing station in the Nensebo
woreda, Guji terroir. More than 700 small holder farmers bring their cherries
to Ch'Ire Ameli, where an impressive selection is then made and the an
outstanding natural process is applied, using the traditional raised beds.
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 with that as each village or town could
potentially have a different varietal which could carry very unique properties.
Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, meaning it was only naturally found here!
THE FERMENTATION PROCESS
Dry process seems simple: pick the fruit, lay it out in the sun until it turns from red to brown to near-back, and then hull off off the thick, dried outer layer in one step to reveal the green bean. It is a method suited to arid regions, where the sun and heat can dry the seed inside the intact fruit skin.
It's often referred to as "natural coffee" because of its simplicity, and because the fruit remains intact and undisturbed, a bit like drying grapes into raisins. Since it requires minimal investment, the dry process method is a default to create cheap commodity-grade coffee in areas that have the right climate capable of drying the fruit and seed.
But it’s a fail in humid or wet regions. If the drying isn't progressing fast enough, the fruit degrades, rots or molds.
Dry-processed coffees can also be wildly inconsistent. If you want a cleanly-fruited, sweet, intense cup, dry process (DP) takes more hand labor than the wet process. Even the most careful pickers will take green unripe or semi-ripe coffee off the branch as they pick red, ripe cherry. If these are not removed in the first days of drying, the green turns to brown that is hard to distinguish from the ripe fruit.