he Konga Coop has a very well organized washing station in the heart of Yirgacheffe. Its located at 1850 meters above sea level, but they claim to be harvesting coffees up to 2300 meeters altitude. It’s a relatively big Cooperative with about 2300 meters. They have really strong management and is considered as one of the more successful cooperatives in the area.
The traditional way of fermenting coffees in Ethiopia, specially in the south, is wet fermentation. Meaning they stay under water after pulping for up to 36 hours. The coffees are then washed and graded before soaked again under clean water. Can take up to 70 hours or more in total after picking. And it requires a lot of water and a good water source.
All cooperatives in Ethiopia belong to a Union that is the seller and exporter of the coffee. They also take care of dry milling and grading before exports. Most Yirgacheffe Cooperatives belongs to the Yirgacheffe coffee growers Cooperative union. The management of the Yirgacheffe Union is really hands on this days, and is really supportive to both the growers, the Cooperative wet mills as well as they follow up on us as buyers.
Zone, Woreda/Local municipality: Gedeo, Yirgacheffe
Altitude: Coffee grown at 1900 – 2300 masl
Producers: About 2400 smallholders.
Varietals: Ethiopian Heirloom. Improved varietals and native coffee of forest origin transferred to family smallholder plots and gardens. In this case they refer to it as Yirgacheffe type.
Grade: Screen 14 and up.
Production: Pulped and wet fermented, graded in washing channels, soaked in water, sundried.
Process: Cherries are hand sorted for unripes and overripes by the farmers before they go into production. A 5 disc Aagaarde pulper removes the skin and pulp. The coffee is then fermented underwater for 24-36 hours, depending on weather conditions. It’s then graded in washing channels in to two grades based on density. It is then soaked under clean water in tanks for 12-24 hours.
Drying: Sun dried 10 – 15 days days on African drying beds on hessian cloths. Coffees are covered in plastic during midday and at night.
Soil: Volcanic deposits, rich in minerals and nitrogen.
Notes: The coffee is organic certified. They have improved their quality standards with great success in recent years.
Cupping notes: Jasmine, coffee flower, black tea and citric aromas. Spicy with pointed acidity profile. Has a range of classic Yirgacheffe flavors like bergamot, hints of floral black tea, jasmine, rosehip and lemon. It’s transparent, lively and delicate with highly complex fruit notes, great intensity and juiciness.