Ethiopia Koke Shalaye
Jasmine, Lemon Zest, Honeydew
Elevation: 1972 m.a.s.l.
We Taste: Jasmine, Lemon Zest, Honeydew
From the renowned Yirgacheffe region in Ethiopia, this coffee comes from a selection of smallholder producers in the Koke area. Most smallholder farmers grow coffee near their homes, intercropped with fruits such as enset (false banana), avocado, and papaya for additional food sources.
Coffee producers face threats such as climate change, fluctuating markets and high input costs. To alleviate these issues, several measures must be employed, from the planting of shade trees, to the regulation of soil health with compost. Most, if not all coffee producers in Ethiopia are 'passive organic', which means that they use only natural methods to fertilise the soil and prevent pests. However, the high certification fees deter them from applying for organic certifications and audits.
During harvest, coffee cherries are hand-picked by producers and carried to the washing station – some by foot, some by donkey, or motorbike. Upon arrival, cherries are checked by a cherry clerk before being sorted for under and overripes. The coffee is then evenly dispersed on raised bed to dry for 15-20 days, until the ideal moisture content is achieved.
Once dried, the coffee is trucked to the dry mill near the capital city of Addis Ababa, where a pre-cleaning machine removes foreign matter, metal and stones. A hulling machine removes the dried exterior skin of the cherries, and a polisher removes the parchment layer. The coffee is then graded by screen size, and gravity-sorted to remove broken or lightweight beans. Thereafter, it goes through a color sorter to remove defective beans, followed by a final round of hand-sorting.