Our second Ethiopian filter release of the year is named after the entrepreneurial spirit behind its production; Mekuria Mergia.
Starting in coffee with no experience but plenty of drive, Mekuria began by acting as a middle man between smallhold coffee farmers and washing stations, purchasing cherry and delivering it to the mills. Over time, he began to focus his attention on the small kebele (small township or commune) of Hambela Wamena in Ethiopia’s Guji Zone in the south of the Oromia region, where coffee is typically being grown in semi-forest like conditions.
In recent years there has been an increase in the number of farmers cultivating coffee in the area, with a significant proportion harvesting their first cherries only a couple of years ago. We are hoping to discover the name of a particular variety that is becoming quite popular amongst these newer farmers, where the flower bud stays intact on the base of the coffee cherry as it matures. Other identified varieties being cultivated in the district are Certo and Wolisho. Both old and new coffee farmers in the area may strategically spread some compost and dry matter from shade trees around their coffee, but it is all organically grown without the use of agro-chemicals or fertilisers.
From his early days taking cherry between farmers and washing stations, Mekuria has since established his own exporting company, several of his own washing stations and even his own farm. At his washing station in Hambela Wamena they are purchasing and processing coffee from around 800 smallhold coffee farmers in the kebele, as well as keeping his own farmed coffee separate when volumes are sufficient and it is logistically viable to process it as its own lot.
After hand sorting to remove under-ripe or otherwise subpar coffee cherries, the fruit is depulped by an Agaarde disc-pulper and left under clean water for up to 48 hours, allowing the native microbiome of bacterias and yeast to break down the sugary mucilage layer around the coffee parchment. After this, the coffee passes through grading channels where it is washed and scrubbed by running large paddles through the coffee, and at the same time it is refined based on the density of the seeds.
Once washed and graded, it spends a further 24 hours soaking under clean water before it goes out onto raised beds in the sun to be continually turned as it dries for around 12 days. The high altitude and cool climate where the coffee is both grown and processed makes for dense seeds with a very concentrated flavour and fantastic longevity.
Please enjoy this wonderfully sweet, tart and focussed coffee from Mekuria Mergia.
Hambela Wamena, Guji Zone, Oromia, Ethiopia
Potent & evocative, we’re tasting guava, lychee & lavender in abundance. Sweet lemon curd flavours & a silky mouthfeel lead to a refreshing finish.