This washed coffee is certified organic and comes from the Bensa woreda of the Sidama zone of the SNNPR (Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region).
Faysel Yonis operates the Ayla washing station for Testi Coffee, an exporter and developer in Sidama. The mill receives coffee cherry at three collection points from over a thousand smallholders in the area. The coffee parchment undergoes a long (for Ethiopia) wet fermentation period of up to three days, on account of the relatively cool ambient temperature and cool groundwater, before being dried on raised beds, and often under cover. The meticulous processing results in coffee with cleanliness and stability.
In the cup, we find a coffee that differs a little bit from some of the stone fruit-driven examples we are often drawn to. The dry fragrance is bright and sweet, but hints at herbal complexity and depth of sweetness, which is confirmed in the brewed coffee. There is a dank quality to the crisp aromatics and flavors that reminds us of citrus oil, along with flavors of milk chocolate and red fruits that tend toward fresh cherry, rather than berries or pulp. It’s a supremely drinkable yet sophisticated Ethiopia with which to start the day.
Location: Shanta Wene town, Bensa, Sidama
Elevation: 1900-2100 MASL
Process: washed, dried on raised beds