That's significantly higher than the current fair trade minimum of approximately £2.47 per kilogram.
White peaches, earl grey, vanilla ice cream
We paid £7.55 per kg for this coffee.
Roasted for balance, not acidity
Altitude - 1830 - 1890 masl
The easiest way to understand how altitude affects a cup of coffee is this: The higher the altitude the harder the tree has to work to produce fruit. This lengthens the time between flowering and the ripening of the coffee cherries and it's this longer time that allows more complex flavours to develop.
As a general rule, as the altitude gets higher (above 1200 masl) you'll get more sweetness, more floral notes, and more complexity. Ethiopia & Costa Rica are great examples of countries where coffee is mostly grown at these higher altitudes, but as said, it's a general rule. The key takeaway is that coffee will get more interesting the harder the tree has to work to produce fruit - being further from the equator, grown in shade are two other ways to make the coffee work harder.
Varieties - Wush Wush, 74110 & 74112
The coffee varieties in this lot, heirloom locally selected sub variety 74110 and 74112, were developed in the 1970’s at the Jimma Agricultural Research Center (JARC) for resistance to the coffee berry disease. These two varieties begin with “74” to indicate their cataloging and selection in 1974. Both were selected from "mother trees" in the Metu Province and released in 1979.
Wush Wush is a fairly recent variety, only released for cultivation in 2006. Since cropping up on cupping tables around the world it has quickly garnered a pretty favoured reputation, often being compared to the highly coveted Geisha variety. Still quite rare, it can fetch pretty astounding prices, but when you taste it you can understand why - light and floral, complex fruit and deep sweetness; it opens up as it cools and leaves you fondly whispering "wush wush."
Processing method - Washed
For many within the coffee world washed coffees are considered the gold standard.
Coffee cherries are first pulped in a machine called a pulper (creative, I know) which removes the outer layers of the fruit leaving behind the bean and mucilage. The coffee is then fermented in water for a time (usually one or two days at least) and then washed to remove the mucilage.
The washed process is regarded by many as producing a superior coffee compared with other processing methods, however the process requires a great deal of skill and water to produce, making it costly and also far less environmentally friendly than the Natural method.
As the fruit of the cherry is removed so early in this process the flavour profile is quite unaffected by the fruit meaning varietal, soil, weather, ripeness, processing skill, and drying are of the utmost importance in determining cup quality.
It is for these reasons washed coffee is considered so highly amongst coffee professionals - a good washed coffee displays a level of care and skill, an attention to detail, and a love of coffee that can't be ignored.
Harvest - 2020
Conventional wisdom held that coffee would last indefinitely before being roasted, but over recent years people have come to understand that this (obviously) isn't the case. Coffee harvests in Ethiopia typically fall between October and April, and then usually landing in the UK around June.
Over 125 million people depend on coffee for their livelihoods worldwide
Single Estate - Tega & Tula
Tega & Tula is the collective name given to two adjacent farms, named for the nearby villages of Tega & Tula in the district of Gibo in Kaffa, Ethiopia.
The farms have almost 400 hectares of coffee planted, with their coffee organised into "blocks" or subplots, allowing for incredibly focused traceability of coffee lots and varieties.
The farm itself is certified organic and produces several interesting and rare coffee varieties.
The farm itself employs nearly 50 full time staff, and this number grows to up to 400 during peak harvest time.
Ahadu was a founding member of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, but left to invest in a farm himself to focus on producing specialty coffee.
Ahadu is keen to push boundaries in the quality of coffee his farms produce, but also in the investment in his local region. Ahadu has contributed to local school programs, even going as far as committing to building a new elementary school, due to be completion this year.
Ahadu and Tega & Tula have also founded a local scholarship that's awarded annually to two women graduates to help them pursue university education.
Tega & Tula are surrounded by UNESCO heritage forests, so organic certification is important to them. Since certification their coffees have seen a pretty significant increase in their cupping scores of about 4 points indicating a clear connection between environmental care and coffee quality.
Likewise, our bags are fully recyclable and we roast all our coffee using an electric roaster so we can use renewable energy instead of fossil fuels.
This is only a beginning and we will continue to develop ways to be green and strive to make the world a better place for those who follow us.
Photos provided by Cafe Imports.