Dimtu is our fourth purchase by Israel Degfa, originating from another of his many washing stations scattered across South and South-Western Ethiopia. Having thoroughly enjoyed Mokonisa, Bulega and Qore from the Ethiopian entrepreneur over the past few years, this coffee is comprised of parcels of fruit delivered by local smallholder farmers to the ‘Dimtu’ washing station (which translates as ‘To Vote’) located in the Hambela woreda. Around 6,500 farmers sell their coffee cherries to Dimtu station, each of them typically working organically on smallholdings of about 1-1.5 hectares, growing their coffee under shade trees like Besana and Berbera.
Hambela is in Ethiopia’s Oromia District, more specifically in the famed Guji Zone. As the owner of the washing station, Israel has, in recent years, decided to re-focus on turning out fine quality coffees rather than solely aiming to produce large quantities. Israel also owns a trading company called Kerchansche and has a handle on the coffee’s journey from the time the fruit arrives at his washing stations to the time it arrives into the UK. It can make things a little clearer when the producer and exporter of the coffee are one and the same, which is quite a break from the norm when it comes to Ethiopia. It may sound quite grand owning so many washing stations and a trading company, but Israel is a second generation coffee farmer with humble beginnings. As a child he used to pocket his bus money, opting instead to walk for hours to get to school in order to save up enough to buy his first stake in a washing station, and the rest is history.
In our experience, high quality washed Ethiopian coffees usually take a few months to become open and expressive after landing in the UK. We believe this is due to a long period of fruit maturation and the slow drying process caused by the cool climates experienced at such high elevations. Some of our favourite Ethiopian coffees have tasted, when we first encounter them early in the year, like paper and lemon rind, with a drying, powdery mouthfeel. However, over a few months the favour slowly opens up, and the fruitiness and sweetness become less covered. When you’re drinking high-quality espresso, the body and mouthfeel of the coffee are so important, so we are now happy to begin roasting and brewing this Ethiopian espresso safe in the knowledge the dry, papery flavour has relaxed out of the seeds. Instead, it is now tasting open, full and juicy! A relatively small lot of coffee for us to run as espresso, it won’t be around for long, being replaced in a few short weeks by Hunkute Espresso.
Hambela, Guji Zone, Oromia, Ethiopia
Perfumed, complex and sweet, this espresso displays an abundance of ripe berries and dried flowers. Expect a clean yet long lasting finish.