Located in the heart of the some of the highest elevations for coffee cultivation, Halo Hartume washing station is perfectly situated to receive and process high quality coffee.
About this coffee
Located in the heart of the some of the highest elevations for coffee cultivation, Halo Hartume washing station is perfectly situated to receive and process high quality coffee. Owner Haile Figa is a Gedeb native with over a decade of experience in the coffee industry. Supported by Figa’s focus on strong relationship and community-building, over 560 producers deliver cherry to the station.
Harvest & Post-harvest
Farming methods in Yirgacheffe remain largely traditional. Yirgacheffe farmers typically intercrop their coffee plants with other food crops. This method is common among smallholders because it maximizes land use and provides food for their families. In addition to remaining traditionally intercropped, most farms are also traditional and organic-by-default. Farmers in Yirgacheffe typically use very few—if any—fertilizers or pesticides. Most farm work is done manually and very few tasks are mechanized, even during processing.
Farmers hand harvest cherry and deliver it to the Halo Hartume washing station. At intake, cherry is visually sorted and then pulped in the station’s disc pulper. Coffee is fermented and then washed in clean water. Workers lay the parchment on raised beds. Parchment is raked frequently to ensure even drying. It takes approximately 10 to 14 days for parchment to dry.
In the Ethiopian grading system, grade 2 refers to the cup quality as well as physical quality of a coffee. A grade 2 allows between four and 13 full defects per 300gr green sample. The cup typically has fruity and clean characteristics, without any off-flavors.
Ethiopia Sidamo 2 is a classic in every coffee range and especially popular in blends. The cup quality can be very surprising for prices well below the grade 1 price point. For us, grade 2 coffee typically sits around an 83-84 cup score.
Yirgacheffe is a district in Southern Ethiopia’s Sidamo region. Yirgacheffe is widely recognized as one of coffee’s ‘birth regions.’ Washed coffees coming from this district are so well-known and sought-after that Yirgacheffe is considered its own micro-region.
The majority of coffees grown in Yirgacheffe are local landrace varieties (which are often also called Ethiopian heirloom). Other varieties grown in the regjon were developed by the Jimma Agricultural Research Centre (JARC). JARC is an important research center for Ethiopia and has done a great deal of work on developing disease resistant and high yielding varieties that still demonstrate quality in the cup.
Most farmers in the region farm on fewer than 5 hectares (many counting their coffee farms in terms of trees rather than area). Cultivation methods are traditional for the most part, with coffee being grown as part of an integrated ‘coffee garden,’ intercropped with other food crops.
Coffee in Ethiopia
While Ethiopia is famous as coffee’s birthplace, today it remains a specialty coffee industry darling for its incredible variety of flavors. While full traceability has been difficult in recent history, new regulations have made direct purchasing possible. We’re partnering directly with farmers to help them produce top quality specialty lots that are now completely traceable, adding value for farmers and roasters, alike.
The exceptional quality of Ethiopian coffee is due to a combination of factors. The genetic diversity of coffee varieties means that we find a diversity of flavor, even between (or within) farms with similar growing conditions and processing. In addition to varieties, processing methods also contribute to end quality. The final key ingredients for excellent coffee in Ethiopia are the producing traditions that have created the genetic diversity, processing infrastructure and great coffee we enjoy today.
Most producers in Ethiopia are smallholders, and the majority continue to cultivate coffee using traditional methods. As a result, most coffee is grown with no chemical fertilizer or pesticide use. Coffee is almost entirely cultivated, harvested and dried using manual systems.