New Coffee Release: Ethiopia Bombe Natural

COUNTRY: Ethiopia
REGION: Sidama
ALTITUDE: 2200 masl
VARIETY: Heirloom
Syrupy, Honey, Grape, Cola, Black Tea, Cedar


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Asnake Bekele is well-known among people who enjoy drinking the very best natural-process Sidama coffee. Many years ago, when Asnake worked as the manager of the prominent Sidama Coffee Farmer’s Cooperative Union, he presented the idea to the producers to add raised-bed natural processing to their washed processed coffee. At the time, he was laughed at! But luckily for us all, he persevered, and now we all know the glory of natural-processed Sidama coffee.

This coffee was produced by Belayneh Bariso, who is part of the producing group Asnake and his partner Aklilu Admassu has vertically integrated with. He’s focused on quality and on advancing the future of traceable, single-producer Ethiopian coffee.

On Belayneh’s farm, red cherries are harvested by hand-picking. This is very labor intensive, and around 50 seasonal and daily laborers are employed for selective harvesting, transporting, sorting and drying.

Over the harvest season, pickers return to the same tree multiple times as coffee cherry doesn’t ripen all at the same time. Carefully harvested cherries are then loaded into bags or baskets and taken to the drying location and spread out in thin layers to dry in the sun. Only special raised drying beds or tables, which are made out of wood posts, are used and covered in bamboo mat.

In order to ensure even drying and to avoid mold, fermentation or rotting, the cherries are turned 6 times per day. It could take 15-21 days for specific lots to reach optimum moisture content depending on the sun access and temperature. This is determined by observing the brightness of the skin and cracking sample dried cherries between the teeth.

When the drying is complete, the dried cherries are loaded into poly bags and stored in a temporary warehouse. From there, it will then ultimately be transported to the dry mill and warehouse located at Daye town. At that point, the dried cherry is removed and a phase of pre-cleaning is done by hand before the coffee is loaded into bags for transportation to Addis Ababa for further export preparation at the final dry mill.