ETHIOPIA SASABA

Region: Oromia Region, Guji Zone

Farm: Sasaba washing station

Varietal: Mixed Heirloom

Altitude: 1800 masl

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The red cherries processed at Sasaba washing station are grown in the surrounding area by smallholder farmers who usually own around 10-15 trees, while earning a living as well on subsistence crops like maize, sorghum, and peas. The harvest runs from late September until January, and all the cherries are processed on-site. The washed coffees typically are fermented for 2-3 days before being placed on drying beds for 7-8 days.

In the case of this coffee, as it is naturally processed, the cherries are placed onto the 350 drying beds present at the washing station, directly after picking, and are dried for 15-20 days while undergoing consistent turning and monitoring. Though this coffee is not certified organic, traditional farming methods in Ethiopia are organic, using techniques of interplanting in order to restore and maintain soil quality.

The owner of this washing station, Tsegaye, has worked diligently to improve both quality and output at the washing station and as a result has received premiums that are muchhigher than the prices listed on the Ethiopian Coffee Exchange. It’s easy to understand why these coffees are demanding such quality prices - each cup is incredibly clean and sweet and the natural processing has been handled so delicately that it retains tons of the inherent complexity we at De Mello love in Ethiopian heirloom varietals.