The Coffee | For the past two coffee harvests, we have sourced the dry processes (or natural) from the Koke Washing Station in Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia. So when our import friends from Ally Coffee introduced us to the washed process coffee from the same great cooperative, we knew it was going to be a match. Ally has a long-standing relationship with the family-owned Koke washing station. The Koke station stands on the side of a hill, with coffee grown above and below the station. For the last three years, the Koke station managers have been separating out the higher elevation cherries for Ally, and the quality clearly shows. There are over 2000 small scale farmers who bring their cherries to Koke for processing, most of them multigenerational family farmers.
The Origin | From our friends at Ally Coffee: “Literally translated as “Land of Many Springs,” Yirgacheffe has the ideal topography, elevation, and water sources to produce and process exceptional coffees. This region is located inside of the Southern Nations and National Peoples area of Ethiopia, which is home to 45 distinct people groups. Coffee farmers in Yirgacheffe are typically multi-generational small-scale landholders, sometimes with only a few acres to their names. Most coffees in Yirgacheffe are sold as cherry to centralized washing stations that help further separate flavor profiles. Yirgacheffe is considered by many to be the birthplace of coffee and the coffee trees grown in the region are a naturally occurring mix of heirloom varietals cultivated among other species in coffee gardens and coffee forests.
The Story | Evan Pollitt, Summit’s Director of Coffee: “It’s easy to get comfortable with a coffee. You have an idea of how it tastes, how it brews, and how it roasts. It’s easy to think you know exactly what it’s going to offer in the cup. I’m pretty comfortable with the Koke Natural that we have offered before. I even used it in the USBC Regional competition last year. It’s interesting to get the same coffee, from the same cooperative and the same mill, but processed differently. It’s at the same time familiar and brand new.
This is the first year that a washed coffee from this cooperative has been purchased by our importing partners. In the past they have been so focused on producing Natural coffees to fill market demand. Over the past few years they have improved their infrastructure to produce Washed coffees. I think it was worth the wait! The cup has citrus, fruit, chocolate and florals; all the elements for a dynamic Washed Ethiopian coffee.