The Great Rift Valley of Africa that bisects Ethiopia creates mountains and valleys perfect for growing Arabica coffee. Several world renowned regions and townships fall around the Great Rift Valley; one of which being Yirgacheffe. The area climate provides high-altitude mountainous and tropical regions maintained by moderate wet and dry seasons. The altitude Ethiopian beans are grown at result in a hard bean with clean flavors and floral aromatics. At the base of Mount Lato Samalo lies the woman owned Pride Mill Washing Station. The Pride Mill, named by locals, is a collection of 2200 producers who live and work in the surrounding area. The mill employs over 200 individuals who receive, wash, sort, dry and prepare coffees for transport. The mill provides a convenient place to process coffee as well as access resources to improve sustainable ways of production and basic livelihood.
Equipment and size of the mill allows for experimentation of micro-lots and traditional process methods. The washed process allows for a cleaner and nuanced tasting bean.
Coffee cherries collected in a hopper. Cherries picked that day usually begin processing the same day. Picking concludes by the early afternoon so workers can deliver cherries and de-pulp in the early evening.
Cherries are then run through a Pulper to remove the outer fruit skin and pulp.
They are then left in Fermentation tanks in water to dissolve the remaining mucilage. This can take anywhere from 24 to 36 hours. The fermentation process must be watched carefully to avoid the coffee acquiring undesired tastes or characteristics.
The fermentation tanks are drained and then the beans are thoroughly rinsed in a long washing channel.
Then the green coffee is laid on sorting beds or patios to dry. Beans must reach a water content of about 10% before they are ready to leave the processing mill. Once beans are dry, they are rested in parchment for 1-3 months in silos or warehouses. When the moisture has stabilized, they are hulled to remove parchment and undergo a final sorting and grading process to prepare them for export.
- Images provided by Catalyst Coffee Consulting
- Catalyst Coffee Consulting. Pride, Gelana Abaya. Retrieved September 20, 2016, from catalystcoffeeconsulting.com/gelana-abaya-pride-mill/
- Wikipedia. (n.d.). Coffee production in Ethiopia. Retrieved September 20, 2016, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_production_in_Ethiopia
- USAID. (2011). Ethiopian Coffee Buying Manual: Practical Guidelines for Purchasing and Importing Ethiopia Specialty Coffee Beans. bootcoffee.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Ethiopian_Coffee_Buying_Guide.pdf
- Stein, B. M. (2016). Difference Between Washed vs. Unwashed Coffee Processes. Retrieved September 20, 2016, from beanbox.co/blog/difference-between-washed-vs-unwashed-coffee-processes/
- Coffee Production: Wet Process. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2016, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_production#Wet_process
- Cafe Imports. Coffee Processes. Retrieved September 20, 2016, from cafeimports.com/coffee-processes