Since 2011 many initiatives have been launched in the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia, with the goal of incentivizing farmers to invest and process the coffee directly at farms, rather than using common processing mills.
Such initiatives have allowed obtaining high-quality micro-lots from individual growers, with qualitative levels comparable if not superior to those of the most successful, larger cooperatives, while improving the living conditions of the farmers.
One of these micro lots has been grown and processed by Bekele Fega. His plantation is located at 1800-2000masl in the woreda of Konga, in the Gedeo zone of Yirgacheffere region, known for producing some of the best lots of Yirgacheffe.
Previously Bekele was successful in delivering cherries to local cooperatives and private washing stations, but he took the opportunity to get support and funding to build its own processing and drying facility, drying tables, warehouses and anything else needed for processing of coffee. The farm workers are primarily his family members.
The micro-lot roasted by Science of Coffee is precisely processed according to the typical Ethiopian natural approach.
Cherries have been picked strictly by hand once perfectly ripe. They have been dried under the sun for about 15 days over African beds and covered with plastic sheeting during the hottest hours of the day and at night.
Cherries are examined daily to remove any defects. Once dried, skins and parchments have been removed mechanically to free the beans. These were packed into GrainPro bags to protect them during transportation up to our laboratory.