Farm: Nefas Farm
Varietal: Mixed Heirloom
Altitude: 1600-1700 masl
This coffee comes to us from the famous Nefas Farm, located about 500km from Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa. This farm has been producing coffee since 2000 and consists of 200 hectares worth of planted coffee trees. This varies quite significantly from most Ethiopian coffee growers, who typically are smallholders possessing a small number of trees which they harvest yearly and bring to washing stations for processing and sale. At Nefas, all coffee is grown and processed in the same estate. Dense forest covers the area, meaning that this coffee is 100% shade grown, which encourages moisture retention in the soil and filters carbon dioxide released in photosynthesis.
Shade grown coffee also requires no chemical fertilizers or pesticides, make it effectively organic, but organic cultivation methods are the traditional norm in Ethiopia. In producing this natural coffee, the ripe, red cherries were put on drying beds directly after picking and turned more regularly than wet processed coffees to reduce the possibility of mould or unpleasant fermentation which can effect the coffee’s final flavour profile. The location of this farm is very open and breezy, which helps with homogenous drying of the cherries. Nefas has a seasonal employment roster of between 150-200 workers with 50 permanent workers. Accommodation, free food, and medical care are all provided to the workers and children are not allowed on the farm during picking so as to reduce the instance of child labour. This coffee really surprised us this year, our third year working Nefas Farm and first purchasing natural lots. The natural processing is very subdued here, allowing for the delicate Sidamo terroir to come through and resulting in a cup that blossoms with jasmine and peach sweetness.