Ethiopia - Kochere Woreda

Ethiopia - Kochere Woreda

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Producer: Primrose Service Provider PLC
Varietal: Local Landraces and JARC 74
Altitude: 2,100 masl
Process: Natural
Country: Ethiopia
Region: Gedeo, Yirgacheffe
Tasting Notes: Blueberry, Grape, Raspberry 
Grown in the notorious Yirgacheffe coffee-producing region, this coffee is produced by a collection of smallholders who bring their cherries to the Kochere Washing Station.

Although this is an ancient and rich coffee-producing region; producers are still facing threats such as climate change and alterations in the environment. Producers ensure the environmental conditions, and the quality of their coffee are maintained is by regulating the soil health. This is done via incorporation of compost into the soil. Shade trees are also planted throughout each farm – providing an ideal climate for coffee whilst promoting nutrient health within the soil. Coffee producers in Ethiopia are classified as ‘passive organic,’ meaning that they have 100% organic production methods, but are unable to afford the high certification fees. Natural methods are used to fertilize the soil and prevent the spread of pests and diseases; especially since producers lack access to chemical inputs.
The Kochere producers utilize an important pruning regime. This is when the top of the tree is removed, and lower-hanging branches are cut. Doing so helps trees place more energy into growing coffee cherries rather than new branches and leaves. These pruning methods help increase yield and income.
After the coffee is carefully hand-picked by each producer – they are carried to the washing station. Upon arrival, the cherries are immediately sorted to remove under and overripe cherries. As this coffee is naturally processed, they are then moved to the traditional raised beds to initiate the drying phase. This step can vary in time from 15 – 20 days depending on the strength of the sunlight. To regulate the moisture content, staff members regularly check moisture levels until the right level is reached.

Once dried, the cherries are trucked to the dry mill, located near the capital city, Addis Ababa. At the dry mill, a pre-cleaning machine removes foreign matter, metal, and stones. The huller and polisher remove the exterior dried pulp, parchment, and silver skin. Once perfectly polished, the coffee is graded based on screen size and placed in a gravity separator to remove lightweight and broken coffee beans. Colour sorters provide another layer of quality control, by removing defected beans. A final look by hand is done to ensure nothing was missed.