|Altitude||1900 - 2100 masl|
Tasting Notes: Banana, floral, kiwi, sweet
Privately owned communal wetmill in Chelelectu – Kochere by Mercha Assefa. They are collecting and buying cherries from various smallholders. Kochere is one of the woredas in the Gedeo zone, in Coffee known as Yirgacheffe. Kochere is bordered on the east by Gedeb, on the southwest by the Oromia Region, and on the north by Yirgacheffe. Towns in Kochere include Fishagenet and Chelelectu.
They generally do lot separation based on 150 bags of parchment, equalt to 100 bags of greens.
About 650 smallholder farmers delivering tiny amounts of cherries daily to the wet miller.
On average farmers are having a farm size of less than 1 hectares. Most coffees are organic by default. Organic compost is common, pruning less common. A farmer can typically have less than 1500 trees pr hectar, and 1 tree is typically producing cherries equal to less than 100 - 200 grams of green coffee.
A mix of local variety’s. Such as native coffee of forest origin transferred to family smallholder plots. The varieties are referred to collectively as Ethiopian Heirloom, which is a myriad of local native Typica hybrids and new improved varietals based on the old strains.
Production process (washed):
Pulper: Traditional Agarde disc pulper
Fermentation: 24 – 48 hours wet.
Washed and graded in channels: Yes
Soaking: about 24 Hours in clean water.
Drying time:10-12 days
Whole ripe cherries are hand sorted for unripes and overripes by the farmers before they go into production. They are pulped by a disk pulper and graded in the pulper by density: The parchment is then fermented under water for 24-48 hours, depending on the weather conditions. After which graded in the washing channels by water flow that separates the coffee by density. Its then soaked 12-24 hrs in fresh, clean water before it’s moved to the drying tables
Skin drying the first hours unders shade. The parchments is dried in the sun for about 10-12 days, depending on the weather conditions, on African drying beds. Coffees are covered in shade nets during midday and at night.
Production process naturals:
Drying times 18 - 21 days.
For the natural process: the cherries are dried in the sun on African drying beds for approx. 18-21 days. In the daytime the cherries need to be raked permanently in order to ensure a consistent drying process. In the day time, it will be coved from 12to 3pm in order to protect hot sun, as well as, when the night comes, the beds are carefully covered to protect it from rain fall.
Producing great natural coffees is challenging and it requires at least as much attention to details as producing good washed coffees. This producer is targeting the highest quality grades there is, grade 1. They have site collectors in the local villages carefully selecting the ripe cherries with better qualities, as well as the near by farmers delivers cherries to the mill. The cherries are the hand sorted for un-ripe and over ripe cherries to get a sweeter and cleaner product. The Natural coffee is normally processed at the later part of the harvest and that’s when the harvest is peaking at the higher altitudes.
The first phase of drying is crucial and are in relatively thin layers on the tables to avoid fermented flavors and it should reach what’s called the “raisin” stage at about 25% moist in a few days. It’s important to move the cherries carefully to avoid damage on the fruit.
In the second phase, from 25% - 12% moist, the layers are built up, and it’s constantly moved during daytime, and needs some rest mid day and at night. An uncontrolled drying sequence can increase the very fruity flavors and make it unstable, and if to slow it can create mold and other off flavors. It’s a costly process that requires good labor and attention if you want it at the highest quality levels.
Red brown, fertile and well drained