This is our second Ethiopian direct trade and organic this year.
The coffee is very floral for being a Natural process. You can expect Violet flower, Purple fruit like Red grape and a creamy texture.
Just West of the Wegida village center, Birhanu and his family run a 5.2 Hectare farm where they dry their own natural process coffee. At a little more than double the size of the average coffee farm in the area, the entire production of his family’s farm produced one lot of 76 bags Grade 1 green coffee. Great care is taken into this coffee’s preparation, from the management of the land to the drying on the beds.
Most of the farms are situated in a dense forest with a large canopy of old growth forest trees above. Below this are other smaller shade trees and some mixed
crop farming including Enset (false banana) and other food crops amongst the coffee trees. In every corner of the farms there are wild plants and heirloom flowers that maintain the original bio-diversity of the old forest. As trees die off they are left to re-nourish the soil from which they came. This maintains the ecosystem that controls insects and reduces the spread of fungus.
Birhanu Tesema selects his best trees with high yield, high quality and disease resistant characteristics for replanting. Primarily he replants the JARC varieties as well as Kurume and Dega. These varieties are maintained and exchanged among neighboring coffee farmers and is a classic example of the Terroir of Yirgacheffe.
Birhanu’s farm is best described as a Garden coffee production or a mixed farming system. Throughout his farm the coffee trees grow under a light shade from perennial shade trees and Enset (false banana), with root crops amongst the plantation. Organic compost is the only source of nutrient that is used to fertilize both coffee trees and the other food crops on his farm. This results with the top soil being rich with organic matter. Pruning and weed control is carried out yearly in the off-season to maintain a more consistent yield each year.
The coffee is hand-picked and brought straight to the drying beds in the afternoon. Both sinking the cherry into water and manual hand sorting is used to sort out under ripe, overripe and insect damaged cherries, leaving only well-ripen red cherries on the raised drying beds. The coffee is covered overnight and in case of rain and to avoid re-humidification. The coffee is also covered during the midday when the weather is too hot, to ensure a smooth consistent drying of the cherry.
A total of 11 kilos of red cherry per square meter is distributed onto the drying beds. To maintain uniform drying among beans, the coffee cherry is turned around on the bed manually six times per day. From the 15th day of drying, the trend of the moisture loss is monitored daily to ensure that the coffee parchment is taken off the drying beds when the moisture level is perfect, between 9.5% and 10.5%.