Ethiopia is widely recognised as the ‘birthplace’ of Coffe. Of all the Ethiopian coffee growing regions, Yirgacheffe is perhaps the most well-known and recognised. There is a certain romanticism that exists in the traditional bright, floral and complex qualities of Ethiopian coffees that so many of us never tire of experiencing. Spanning a remarkable topographic roller coaster, the Area of Yirgacheffe climbs from 1200 MASL in the East of the Gedeo Zone, up to 3200 MASL in the West, with only 30km in between. This dramatic expanse of height has led to a bio-diverse environment where native trees grow at the altitude in which they benefit most, including the many wild mutations of coffee varietals – this must be why the cup profiles of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffees are just so unique.
The Farmers Of Hafursa:
Farmers in and around Hafursa washing station are already well-versed in how to get the best quality coffee from their trees.
“Based on fair trade standards, we pay a premium for high-quality coffee cherries. After sales, we make a second payment to the farmers based on the weight of the coffee we initially bought from them. As a result, farmers are happy to bring us their best red cherries.”
Moreover, the Hafursa washing station also provides farmers with organic compost and participates in community projects, such as construction of a local school. As a result of these initiatives, the mill enjoys a close and friendly relationship with many smallholders of the area.
o Coffees grow in small-holder farmers’ backyards (known as ‘garden coffee’) in the Yirgacheffe region.
o Cherries are harvested from October – January and taken to the washing station where small-holder lots are combined.
o Coffee is hand sorted to remove under- and over-ripe cherries and select cherries between 18-22 brix.
o Cherries are dried on raised beds in full sun to allow the beans to absorb the sweetness and fruitiness from the cherry pulp and skin.
o During drying cherries are regularly turned to ensure even drying and maintain clarity. On very hot days cherries are covered in plastic to control drying rate.
o Cherries remain on raised beds and are frequently turned for 18-30 days until moisture reaches 10-12%
o Dried beans are then stored in the dried cherry pod for protection and to maximise sugar and fruit flavour absorption until milling and export preparation.
o Further quality control and sorting is then done during milling. As a minimum, QC do a triple-pass through a colour sorter and a triple-pass through hand-sorting tables to improve overall quality and ensure only highest grade of beans are passed.
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