Super sweet and clean. Ripe peach and orange blossom.
This was the first fresh crop Ethiopian coffees we cupped and contracted this year. From the little known but up and coming West Arsi growing region (remember the Bale Mountain) this Nensebo Refisa is super clean and fresh. Another great coffee sourced by the clever folk at Nordic Approach who's owner had this to say:
"West Arsi has always fascinated me with its diverse profiles. Bordering Bale Mountain National Park’s Harenna Forest, an area that just recently started to see a lot of investment from producers, you can now find micro-stations processing wild forest coffee in the most remote areas hardly accessible by car. Unfortunately, I was not able to visit the mill this year due to long rains and political issues, but the coffee was too good on the table to pass."
They scored it 88 points on the cupping table and gave it notes of lemon, orange blossom and other soft florals. Tight, spicy, good depth, layers of fruit. Grapes in the finish.
'Samii' comes from NA's own flavour wheel used to classify their Ethiopian coffees and this washed coffee sits fits their definition nicely. This is a certified Organic coffee but we cannot market it as such.
The Refisa washing station has 389 active farmer members that deliver cherries. This washing station is owned by SNAP COFFEE exporters and the local cultivars are Welisho and Kurume. SNAP COFFEE was established in Addis Ababa in 2008, by coffee-passionate entrepreneur, Negusse D. Weldyes. The company runs three coffee washing and processing stations in Chelelektu, Kochere District of the Gedeo Zone and partnering washing stations in Uraga (Guji) and Nensebo (West Arsi).
The company’s supply policy rests on three main pillars:
- Process specialty coffee consistently;
- Transfer the required know-how to the outgrowing farmers along with a great desire and training in processing and cleaning methods;
- Protect the environment through waste recycling systems.
SNAP COFFEE is a business group engaged in other activities as well. They have an electronics assembly business and a software development company. They began their speciality coffee export business after the ECX reformed regulations to make it easier for companies to export coffee in 2017. The company currently exports about 78 containers per year. They employ around 253 employees, of which 13 are in their speciality coffee exporting business.
- Vegetation: Semi-forest
- Average lot size of farmers: 1-2 hectares
- Soil type: Rich and fertile red soil
- Number of trees per hectare: 1800-2400
- How much cherries per tree on average: 3 kgs
- Average selling price of farmers per kilo of cherries for 2019/2020 harvest year: $0.63/20 birr
Post-Harvest Processing - Washed
Cherries are collected manually and hand sorted later, and are pulped by a traditional Agaarde Discpulper. Skin and fruit pulp are removed before the machine grades the parchment in water as 1st or 2nd quality, determined by density.
Wet fermentation for 72 hours before the coffees are washed in channels, and graded in water by density. The lower density (lower quality) will float and are removed, leaving only the denser and therefore higher quality beans which are separated as higher grade lots.
After fermentation, soaking takes place for 2 hours in clean water. It is then piled up in layers which are 2cm in height and dried over a 10 day period then followed by hand sorting for 2-4 hours.
Warehouse and Supply Chain Management
After drying the coffees will be packed in jute bags and stored in the local warehouse onsite, separated by process and grade. Lot sizes can vary from 100 – 300 bags. This process helps condition the coffee and achieve a more uniform humidity. They will normally be stored 1-2 months before they are moved. In some cases the parchment will be hand-sorted in the warehouse.
After the harvest season is over the coffees are moved to warehouses and dry mills in Addis. Trucking is expensive in Ethiopia. The coffee trucks must pass a local ECX checkpoint where its contents are graded and registered as an exportable product, before it continues to Addis Ababa.
Warehousing and dry milling
The coffee will sit in parchment in a warehouse in Addis. This is when the Nordic Approach team will go to the warehouse and collect samples from the specific stocklots. It remains in parchment until it is contracted and the destination for shipment is confirmed.