In an attempt to find a farm or two we could start working with more closely (like do in Centra-America and Colombia) in order to improve the coffee qualities we buy from in Ethiopia, I went on a trip in December 2018 to visit a handfull of farms in the western part of Ethiopia. Out of those visits we ended up buying from three different farms where Fahem is the biggest one of them.
At Fahem I was visiting with Semeon Abay, who now works for Tropiq, Ethiopia and Hayatudin Jamal who works for Fahem and Mohammed Lalo. I was quite impressed with the infrastructure on the farm and also how they had planted varieties separate from each other and kept the natural forest canopy over the coffee trees. However I still saw huge potential for improving the coffee quality on the farm and potential for producing a good amount of very high quality coffee. I asked Hayatudin if they were willing to follow my suggested processing and drying protocol and produce 50 bags of coffee for me. I would of course commit to buying the 50 bags of that coffee. Hayatudin agreed and I asked Semeon if he could help me with quality controlling the picking and processing and help Hayatudin and his team produce the coffee in the way I had specified.
We managed to produce four different lots in total where two were natural processed and two washed coffees, all separated by variety. Unfortunately we bumped in to some challenges with shipping and logistics, but at least we managed to get most of the coffees to Norway in good condition. I really loved how the washed coffees turned out and think they are quite different from the typical coffees you will find further south in Ethiopia, like near Yirgacheffe. The coffees from the west have always appealed to me and this one is no exception with loads of tropical fruit notes but still with very floral characteristics.
Rhubarb, tropical fruits, floral
Atnago, Limmu Seka, Ethiopia
1900 masl. Under canopy of native forest trees
Only ripe coffee cherries were picked by local hired pickers. The cherries underwent another selection by water and gravity before they were de-pulped in the afternoon. Afterwards the parchment coffee was fermented under water over night. The next morning the coffee was washed and graded in a traditional washing channel before the excess mucilage was removed by a mechanical mucilage remover in order to remove the remaining mucilage. After processing the coffee was dried raised beds under a shade net to ensure slow and even drying. The coffee was packed, exported and stored in jute bags with a grain pro bag liner to keep it fresh.