About this coffee
Testi Specialty Coffee purchased AASH PLC washingstation in 2019 and set about working with local growers to produce top-notch specialty coffees at the station. About 750 local smallholders deliver to the station. Their farms are located at high altitudes around or above 1,900 meters above sea level. Farmsare planted with a mixture of JARC varieties and local landraces that are hyper-local and suited to the unique conditions of the region.
Farmers in this region have farmed coffee for generations upon generations. They are true specialists. 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 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, evenduring processing.
Harvest & post-harvest
Since farms are small, most work is done by the family. Farmers selectively handpick ripe red cherry and deliver it to AASH washing station. At the station,cherry is visually hand sorted to remove any defects and pulped. Coffee is fermented in tanks for 36 to 48 hours and then washed in clean water. Parchment is laid on raised beds to dry. Parchment is raked frequently to ensure even drying. It takes approximately 7 to 11 days for parchment to dry.
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.