This coffee comes from our washing-station partners at Beriti, which is in the kebele, or village, of Tore, in the woreda, or district, of Yirgacheffe, in the Yirgacheffe region.
There are about 600 producers in the region who are served by BeritiWashing Station, many of whom own less than 1 hectare of farmland on which they typically grow other crops like bananas and corn. The washing station was founded in the year 2000, and produces both Natural and Washed lots. Producers deliver the coffee in cherry form, and it will be sorted from there and prepared for processing. Washed lots are depulped, fermented, and washed, then given a soak for 8–16 hours for a total fermentation time of 48–72 hours. Natural and Washed coffees are both dried on raised beds: It takes about 9–12 days for the Washed lots, and between 8–20 days for the Naturals depending on the sun access and temperature.
Until relatvely recently, coffee grown by smallholders and co-ops in Ethiopia were required to be sold through the ECX, where lots were classified by general region, quality (Grade 1–5), and escaped of most of their traceability. In March of 2017, the prime minister of Ethiopia approved a reform allowing co-operatively owned washing stations to export their coffee directly, which allows for separation of top coffee lots, higher prices for farmers, and increased recognition for the best quality coffees in Ethiopia. Greater traceability allows us to buy more directly from the same washing stations year in and year out, and opens the potential for partnerships on a more micro level, with individual farmers or smaller groups within a community, to select out special lots.