This coffee is from the Banko Gutiti area of Kochere region of Ethiopia.
Approximately 650 smallholder farmers near the town of Banko Gutiti mostly grow their coffees of various local heirloom varieties, like Certo and local Wolisho, along with other garden crops in their gardens, bringing their cherries to be processed at the Alemu Washing Station, which provides services for about 750 of the area’s farmers.
The Alemu Washing Station is a privately owned communal wetmill, owned by Alemu Bukato. Here the coffee is collected and selected. Only ripe cherries are processed. All the over-ripe and immature cherries are discarded to get a sweeter and cleaner product.
This lot is a natural processed coffee and is normally processed at the later part of the harvest and that’s when the harvest is peaking at the higher altitudes.
Producing great natural coffees is challenging and it requires at least as much attention to details as producing good washed coffees.
The Coffee dries for about 15 – 18 days. 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.