ESPRESSO ~ Violet Sunshine ~ local landraces from Duromina in Agaro, Ethiopia
Producers: smallholders organized around Duromina washing station and members of the Kata Muduga cooperative union
Place: Agaro, Ethiopia
Varieties: local landrace
Importer: Red Fox
Harvest: Dec-Jan 2022/23
Tasting notes: violet florals, riesling grape, buttery texture
Duromina is back! We cupped more lots from Duromina when locking in our buys for Nano Genji and thought this lot from Duromina would make beautiful espresso.
With gentle violet florals, juicy riesling grape acidity, and buttery texture to round it all out, this washed processed lot from Duromina cooperative consists of local landrace varieties picked and processed with soil, water, and biodiversity in mind, coffees coming from the forests in Agaro represents some of the few semi-wild coffees remaining in the ancestral lands of Ethiopia.
Duromina is a special cooperative, located around the Agaro area of Ethiopia in the west of the country. Duromina needs no introduction today, but if you had looked ten to fifteen years ago, the Agaro area, in general, wasn’t invested in the international market. What ended up happening was USAID’s Technoserve project collaborated with Agaro—who previously was supplying the local market with grade five sundried naturals (not exportable coffee)—with new processing equipment and focused on a five-year program to support and provide guidance for producing exportable washed coffee (Grades one and two – The ones you get from us). The folks who live and work in this coop named it Duromina, which means ‘improve their lives’ in the Afan Oromo language. The people who live and work with this cooperative have harnessed their talents and ability to organize to such a masterful level. The coffees they produce each year are a reflection of that.
For the first 5-6 years of operation, Oromia Union held the export license for Duromina and neighbouring cooperatives, and that came with challenges and frustrations that eventually compelled the Agaro and Gera area coops to form their union to have full control over the export process.
Under the leadership of the Kata Muduga cooperative union, these folks work together to continue the incredible reputation for top quality washed coffees from this region that are very well known around the world at this point. Duromina took Technoserve’s initial investment and led their coop masterfully, processing immaculate, forest-grown coffees in their ancestral environment (an incredible rarity), with a focus on stewarding the ecosystems where they live and work.
Gera landrace selection from the folks at Duromina cooperative, this is a collective of folks just outside Agaro, towards the west of Ethiopia, not far off from the fabled birthplace of coffee in nearby Keffa. Coffees from these forest stewards represent some of the last remaining places where coffee is cultivated in a naturalized forest environment. There’s often honey cultivated in the forests here too with wicker cylindrical tubes perched in the tree canopy, inviting bees to come make a home and produce what is, honestly, the most jasmine heavy, complex honey I’ve ever had in my life. The coffees grown here are the best approximation for me for now 🙂
After Penagos processing equipment mechanically removes most of the fruit and mucilage from the seeds (depulping), the seeds are soaked in water overnight in fibreglass tanks, allowing any remaining sticky mucilage to be broken down by enzymatic activity so that it can be easily washed away from their surface leaving a perfectly clean coffee by the time they hit the drying beds for the eight-plus days they’ll need to dry.
We brew all our coffees with municipal water that flows from our taps in Metro Vancouver. This municipal source is very soft, low ppm water (around 30 TDS)
There are many alternative water recipes out there that will produce tasty cups if your water from the tap isn’t giving you good results. A good place to start is 1/2 strength Third Wave Water of around 60-70ppm (0.16g.-0.2g./L of TWW powder).
This lot from Duromina makes shots that are juicy and sweet with flavours of riesling grape, violet florals, and black tea, with a buttery texture. A great coffee for both straight espresso and and as a little milk drink. Also makes an incredible espresso tonic for the last hot days of summer.
Starting spec: 18g./45g. in 29sec. @9bar 93C