This selection comes from staggering elevations of the beautiful Bombe Mountains, and one of the regions of Ethiopia we have been the most excited about: Bensa Sidama. In the cup we find a very floral, delicate, and refreshing profile of jasmine and lemon balm, with a very long limeade finish.
Hand picked at peak ripeness. Floated to further remove defects and depulped on the day of harvest. Wet fermented for 36-72 hours. Dried on raised beds for 9-12 days until the coffee reaches approximately 10% moisture content.
This washing station is run and operated by our exporting partner Daye Bensa, who are no strangers to producing exquisite coffees. We had expressed our interest in purchasing coffees from less explored regions of Ethiopia, and—after tasting some very good offer samples from Hamasho—decided this was exactly what we were looking for. Around 1,500 farmers deliver their coffee to this washing station way up in the Bombe Mountains. Due to the extreme elevations these coffees are grown in, the seeds are very small and dense.
Ethiopia is widely acknowledged as where coffee originated, and its production continues to represent about 10% of the country’s gross domestic product. DNA testing has confirmed over 60 distinct varieties growing in Ethiopia, making it home to the most coffee biodiversity of any region in the world. Given the tradition of coffee production in Ethiopia and the political interworkings of the Ethiopian coffee trade, it is virtually impossible to get single variety coffee lots from Ethiopia. This is changing, albeit very slowly. Most Ethiopian coffees are blends of the many Ethiopian varieties, and referred to simply as 'Ethiopian Landrace'.
The cost of getting a coffee from cherry to beverage varies enormously depending on its place of origin and the location of its consumption. The inclusion of price transparency is a starting point to inform broader conversation around the true costs of production and the sustainability of specialty coffee as a whole.