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.
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.
For more information on Ethiopia and Technoserve, see our post here.
Woreda/Local municipality: Chena
Altitude: Located at 1885 masl
Producers: About 260 smallholder members deliver cherries to the wetmill. Membership is optional. Non members don’t qualify for second payment.
Varietals: Ethiopian Heirloom, “Native Kaffa Type”. Semi-forest and wild forest farming.
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: Michiti is a new cooperative that started to produce coffees in 2010. They strictly adhere to the lot traceability system and maintain very high quality controls through the process. Total production in 2011 was about 200 bags. They have a truly unique flavor profile due to their location, altitude and the native varietals of forest coffees.
Cupping notes: Jasmine and citrus in the aroma. Has a range of floral flavors, white tea and stone fruit. Lemon and lime-like pointed mineral acidity. The mouth feel is slim, transparent and juicy. Overall it is acidity-driven, elegant and sweet with high flavor intensity.