ETHIOPIA - Keffa

ETHIOPIA - Keffa

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Country:    Ethiopia

Varietal(s): Heirloom (local Landraces & JARC 74 selections)

Process:    Fully washed & dried on raised beds

Altitude:   1814 metres above sea level

Region:     Keffa, Gimbo Woreda

 Flavours:  Chopped nuts, cedar, chocolate

This exceptional fully washed coffee was grown by smallholder famers from in and around the Kebele (town) of Bonga.  This region is deeply tied to the history of coffee.  The zone of Keffa is thought too be the birthplace of all Arabica coffee produced around the world today.  The word Keffa or also known as Kaffa, an arabic word meaning a drink from berries.  The English word coffee is also known to be derived from the same root. 

Around 85% of Ethiopian families live rurally, thus making a living from agriculture is vital.  In Keffa, coffee is a main cash crop.  The coffee is usually planted alongside a second cash crop known as 'False Banana', as it simply looks like a banana tree, with the purpose of providing desired shade to the coffee trees.  

Coffee is selectively handpicked before being delivered to the mill collection points.  Here, coffee lots are separated by quality, farm and date of production.  At the mill, the coffee cherry is floated in a tank and sorted by hand to determine over ripe and under ripe beans.  Fermentation then takes place in large concrete tanks, for anywhere up to 3 days.  The coffee is then washed via grading channel, separating the coffee by quality as well as removing any mucilage.  The beans are left on raised beds to dry and turned regularly until the appropriate humidity is reached.  A final drying takes place at Primrose drying mill, a small journey from the washing station, where the last steps are taken to ensure the beans are at their best state, ready for exporting. 

The flavours in this coffee are so pleasing.  There is almost a spicy hint when brewed, but also with some hints of raspberry and chocolate.