This is a fully washed coffee from Wote Konga wetmill in the Yirgacheffe region, Ethiopia.
The coffee pictured here by Upstream Coffee Imports (@upstreamimports) is in its parchment (dried). Taken after the ripened-cherries are delivered to the wetmill for careful sorting and pulping, before fermentation for 36-48 hours, depending on the climactic conditions. The cherries are a collection from different local smallholder farmers growing heirloom varieities at altitudes of 1,800 - 2,000 masl. Once the coffee has dried to the right level, it is graded and intensively sorted and handpicked to remove defect beans, before being bagged in GrainPro for export. The women you see in this photo are hand sorting beans that have defects.
Nearly 400 growers delivered their top quality cherries at the Konga Sede washing station that is managed by Yirgalen Melid. One of the farmers that contributed to this lot belongs to Gizaw Alemayehu and his wife Frehiwot who have been in coffee for 45 years.
"Gizaw’s father, who was a coffee grower, moved into the coffee processing and supply business when the socialist government of the time nationalised his farm. Mr Alemayehu’s children also entered the family business and supplied coffee beans, including cherries from their farms, to exporters.
To sustain the increased yield on their farm, the family entered the export business under the G and F Coffee Export Company. Gizaw looks after the sourcing and manages the washing stations, while his wife looks after the export side of things.
Thus the Alemayehu family produces, processes, grades and exports coffee. They work with farmer groups of the region and coach them on the production of special natural coffees through guided instructions and supervision. In turn, the farmers receive a higher price for their coffees. The G and F Export Company has built a school on one of their sites so the children of farmers can receive an education. The company also provides school supplies as needed."
Over a number of years the Yirgacheffe region has developed a distinguised reputation for fine coffees, producing some of the most sought-after microlots in the world due to the combination of high altitude (up to 2,200m in some areas), fertile soil, consistent and plentiful rains.
The indigenous ‘heirloom’ varietals - which grow wild in Ethiopia - are responsible for the unique flavour notes which make for an unusual but beautifully refined cup, characterised by strong citric acidity, sweet chocolate and floral/ herbal notes of lavender, jasmine, bergamot and thyme.