If the name Kochere is familiar, it's because we’ve previously shared other coffees from the same washing station. This delivery is a different lot with similar flavours but a slightly lighter body.
Ethiopia’s the birthplace of coffee: today around 25% of the country's livelihood is reliant on its export, and this lot is Ethiopian Heirloom which is a mix of naturally occurring varietals.
Around 9 years ago the Ethiopian government made some radical changes to the way coffee is exported, requiring it to be traded on the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) with the aim of protecting the income of farmers.
Unfortunately those changes reduced traceability, making it impossible to directly trade with small single farms. The only way to purchase coffee from Ethiopia was through unions who represent cooperatives, from exporters who buy through the ECX, and from large estates.While helping buffer commodity-quality crops from price volatility, this also stopped higher quality coffee from reaching its full earning potential. We’re referring to this delivery as ‘Kochere Primrose’ to tell it apart &emdash; Primrose is the Ethiopian exporter for this lot.
Changes have been announced which will hopefully bring more balance. Direct trade will soon be possible, and there'll be more traceability. A minimum price for farmers will be set, and a trading range limit on the ECX will stop large daily price swings. Daily Coffee News has more info on these changes, too.
Yirgacheffe is well known for its high quality washed coffees, which are clean, floral and juicy coffees with genuine and unique fruit and berry flavours.
The area where this coffee is grown has some of the most complex and intense coffee flavours in Yirgacheffe. Most are small family plots with a mix of traditional varietals, and recently planted trees of improved varietals. Organic fertiliser is common, though pruning is less common, given the small size of the individual plots.
Coffee processing at Kochere
Coffee cherries are collected from seven different hillsides surrounding the wetmill. These are hand-sorted to remove any unripe or overripe cherries before are approved.
A four disc Hagbes pulper removes the skin and pulp.
The coffee is then fermented under water for 24-36 hours, depending on the weather conditions.
It’s then graded in washing channels in to two grades based on density, and then soaked under clean water in tanks for 12-24 hours.
They continue to handpick defected parchment at the drying tables, where the coffee is sun dried for 10–15 days days resting on hessian cloths on African drying beds. They’re covered by plastic during midday to protect from the intense midday sun, and also overnight.