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Sweet Cream Butter
This delicious coffee comes from small holder coffee farmers at the Goro washing station in the Goro Badessa woreda (district) of Hambela Wamena, a high-altitude region that reaches more than 2000 meters above sea level. Hambela is a relative newcomer to the Ethiopian coffee scene; with coffee production only taking hold fairly recently due to an increased average temperature in the region, the coffee trees in Hambela are often younger and better maintained than trees elsewhere in Ethiopia – leading to outstanding cup quality.
Abiyot, the owner and manager of the washing station, has focused on producing the best quality coffee possible, searching for the highest elevations and filtering producer partners by cherry quality and incentivizing farmers by offering a very competitive premium on well selected cherries. Producers around the Goro washing station typically have between 3 and 15 hectares of land, far more than the Ethiopian national average. Having more land allows farmers more negotiation leverage and greater success in finding financing for training and investment in continuous improvement of the quality of their crops. This washing station only processes natural coffees, and Abiyot experiments with different drying methods to obtain the best result for each lot. The cooler temperatures at this altitude mean that the naturally processed coffees take a long time to dry, averaging around 40 days, and Abiyot and the station manager take care to make sure the intense light at this altitude doesn’t damage the cherry and cover the coffee during the middle of the day.
Although this coffee maintains a lot of the appeal of the typical natural Ethiopian fruit-forward flavor profile, we immediately noticed some very unique elements in this coffee. Whereas many natural Ethiopians exhibit predominantly dark berry notes, this cup leads with a nicely balanced sweet-yet-sour citrus, much like a juicy ripe apricot, and then softens beautifully into a sweet, creamy body and finishes with a soft hint of rose. Just lovely!