Ethiopia is known as the birthplace of coffee. There are more than 1.1 million coffee farmers (smallholders) representing 95% of the production. The varieties are referred to collectively as Ethiopian Heirloom, which is a myriad of local native Typica hybrids and new improved varietals based on the old strains. The two main growing areas are in the west and south. Most coffees are organic by default.

For more information on Ethiopia: Ethiopia general information

This coffee is a result of a sustainable Technoserve project in the west based on transparency and increased quality production. Technoserve is a NGO supporting the farmers in setting up washing stations and new cooperative structures. This project has revealed a new great range of coffee flavors not found elsewhere. Technoserve’s coffee initiative is a project measuring their success in the value and quality of the coffees produced and the farmers increase in their coffee income. All cooperative members qualify for second payment. This has so far contributed to a significant increase in payment for the local coffee farmers.

This coffee is certified organic — we are working with as many coffees as we can to certify them organic, and Ethiopia is our starting place. Our Kecho Tirtira is also certified organic.

For more information on western Ethiopia and Technoserve: Western Ethiopian coffees

Cooperative: Debello Cooperative

Zone: Jimma

Woreda/Local municipality: Limu – Kossa

Altitude: Located at 1740 masl

Producers: About 500 smallholders. Buying cherries from non members as well. Membership is optional. Non members don’t qualify for second payment.

Varietals: Ethiopian Heirloom. Native coffee of forest origin transferred to family smallholder plots.

Grade: Screen 15 and up.

Production: Pulped and mechanically demucilaged, soaked in water and sundried.

Process: Cherries are hand sorted for unripes and overripes by the farmers before they go in to production. A Penagos Eco Pulper removes the skin, pulp and mucilage. It is then soaked in clean water in plastic tanks for about 10 hours.

Drying: Skin dried and sorted under shade for 4-6 hours after soaking. Sun dried about 10 days on African drying beds on hessian cloths. Coffees are covered in plastic or shade nets during midday and at night.

Soil: Recent volcanic deposits.

Notes: Debello is one of the strongest and best managed cooperatives in the Limu area. They strictly adhere to the lot traceability system and maintain very high quality controls through the process. They have also implemented various measures to reduce cost, for example, using solar powered lights as an energy source as well as implementing a waste water treatment program.

Cupping notes: Jasmin, coffee flower and citric aromas. Limey and orange-like pointed acidity profile. Has a range of red berry flavors and sweetness as well as hints of floral black tea. Overall it’s transparent and delicate with highly complex fruit notes, great intensity and juiciness.

Download information: Debello fact sheet

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