Limited O2 Natural from Wush Wush Village in Keffa, Ethiopia
Origin: Keffa, Ethiopia
Variety: local landrace
Processing: limited oxygen fermentation as whole cherry & dried on raised beds as a natural
Exporter: Catalyst Trade
Harvest: Dec/Jan 2022
Tasting notes: creamy, guava, cherry jam
This experimental lot from the inimitable Wush Wush region in Ethiopia is processed with a nod to anaerobic fermentation. A limited oxygen experiment, there’s vibrant guava and cherry in addition to all that makes coffees from Wush Wush shine. Such a rad coffee for gifting.
We tend to agree with Catalyst Trade’s take on this specific processing method. They sum it up well when they clarify:
“Our Limited Oxygen aims to steer clear of booze and over-fermented character, and instead intensifies clarity and boosts intrinsic fruit notes and sweetness in a coffee. Over the past several seasons, we have really dialed in this processing method throughout the areas where we work in Ethiopia. Each farm, washing station and microclimate present a unique set of variables, requiring careful adaptation in order for us to hit our intended flavor profile and quality targets.”
This method is not dissimilar to how our friend Benjamin Paz does his experimental lots with his Pacas variety in Honduras, enclosing whole cherry in a bag, developing some heat through microbial activity before continuing on with drying etc. There is still some residual oxygen within the bags, but it’s markedly reduced compared with an open air ‘ferment’ without water.
This incredibly special lot is in our hands thanks to Emily and the crew at Catalyst Trade, who’ve decided to deeply specialize in coffee sourcing throughout Ethiopia and only Ethiopia (for now).
Keffa is a new region for us, adjacent to Jimma and nearby Agaro, and represents an important historical place for coffee in Ethiopia. Happy brewing!
from Catalyst Trade
WUSH WUSH WASHING STATION
_By Catalyst Trade_
“Dinkalem’s washing station is one of the most cheerful we get to visit each year, with smiling faces all around, clean facilities, and a well-organized production flow. Dinkalem himself is a short, cheerful man who’s proud of all he’s accomplished in partnership with his wife, Sofia, for the area. Together they are a kind of power couple: she organizes charitable work such as educational sessions for children and food distribution to disenfranchised Keffa people, and he runs the coffee business in two locations (one in Wush Wush and one in Dinbira for washed and natural-processed).
They live in the town of Wush Wush in a house that seems mostly hallways and surprising corners. Sofia is known for her kirkele, or lamb stew, which is the best we’ve ever tasted—it’s all savory chunks of stewed lamb so tender it drips off the spoon. They have 6 children, who love to play hide-and-seek with our daughter.
Dinkalem is proud to produce mostly very high-end coffee. His washing station in Wush Wush is 6 years old this season and sits on two hectares, with long drying beds stretching to the far reaches of the property, which is bordered by the glorious forests so characteristic of Kaffa. Dinkalem has a four-disk Agard pulper with two repasser disks, which receives regular maintenance. The nearby Agama River provides water for washing through the serpentine channels at Dinkalem’s washing station; after coffees have been pulped, fermented, and washed, they are placed on the drying beds to reach optimal moisture content.
The drying beds are composed of plastic and wire mesh on local tree materials, and parchment is typically dried at a depth of approximately 2 cm. The workers at the washing station carefully stir hand-pick defects and cover the parchment multiple times a day depending on sun or rain. Once they’ve reached optimal moisture content, the parchment is moved to the storage shed which is clean and made from sheet metal as is customary in the area. Dinkalem religiously prohibits shoes, perfume, and any food or beverages in the storage shed. Once he’s ready to transport the coffee, Dinkalem loads it in trucks and takes it to the warehouse in nearby Bonga, where it is analyzed by officials and registered with a grade. At that point, it is then trucked to Addis Ababa.
We’ve worked with Dinkalem’s coffee for 5 seasons now. Each year it delivers characteristic lush fruit and very sweet qualities.”