Yellow peach, earl grey, honey
This washed Ethiopia was brought to us from our partner Keffa, a private exporter in Ethiopia with a priority in supporting and sustaining the people behind the beans by working with origin partners who pay higher than average wages and who treat workers fairly. With their vast experience and decades long relationships, they are bringing in coffees of the highest standards.
For Ethiopian coffees, Grade 1 and 2 signifies that the coffee is washed and specialty grade. Also, the difference between grade 1 and 2 is defined by the number of visible defects in the prep sample. If a coffee receives a grade 1 classification, it has 0 – 3 defects; this is rare! Grade 2 coffees allow 4 – 12 defects. Typically the quality of washed coffees is more consistent than that of unwashed coffees. Grade 3 and 4 coffees are natural or unwashed and have a higher occurrence of defects. Crazily enough it’s not uncommon for a Grade 2 coffee to have a higher cupping score than a Grade 1 which makes this system often seem convoluted.
Washed process coffees are common in this region of Ethiopia, where there is plentiful water to process the coffee, unlike some dry regions where the coffees are all natural or dry processed. After the carefully selected ripe cherries are picked and sorted free of visual defects they are taken to a washing station (wet mill) where their skin is removed or depulped. In the next phase of the washed process, the coffees (now coated in a sticky mucilage) will be soaked in a large fermentation tank for up to 3 days, where the sugars of the mucilage will be broken down enabling the coffee to be washed by soaking it in clean water for up to 12 hours. After being dried on raised beds for around 2 weeks to 11.5% moisture content, the coffee now with one last layer of skin (parchment or husk) will be transported to a dry mill. This last step of the processing is where the parchment will be taken off and the coffee prepared for export by being sorted free of defects one last time, then put in plastic grain pro and jute bags.