Ethiopia: Ana Sora

Ethiopia: Ana Sora

Regular price $12.36
Traveling to a coffee producing country with the intent to find and purchase coffee is inherently a gamble. Of course, precautions are taken to ensure the highest chance of success. Arriving near peak harvest, coordinating travel with a network of trusted exporters and producers, knowing which regions produce a cup profile that meet your needs, and scheduling as many cuppings as possible are all fundamental steps taken to improve the odds. But flat tires and mechanical issues can impede travel, poor weather leaves roads impassable, and despite cupping hundreds of samples, there’s simply no guarantee extraordinary coffees will pass your way. But when they do, their presence is hypnotizing. Despite the over-caffeination and jet lag, finding a phenomenal coffee on the cupping table immediately brings a renewed focus and sense of wonder. Each subsequent taste highlights new flavors and confirms the finding of a diamond in the rough. On our last trip to Ethiopia in January 2020, this washed lot from Ana Sora was that diamond. During the harvest season, coffee is delivered to the station and washed with water from the nearby Turo River, during which buoyant under-ripe and overripe cherries are removed from the bulk of ripe cherries. These ripe cherries are then mechanically de-pulped. The mucilage remaining on the coffee seeds is removed through traditional fermentation, a process that lasts 24-48 hours depending on temperature and weather conditions. The seeds are then dried on raised beds for 10-12 days. In aroma are floral notes of jasmine, citrus, and mixed berries. In the cup, floral and berry aromas transform into flavors of elderflower and black currant. The acidity is citric and tropical-like, the mouthfeel silky, and the aftertaste has a long lasting sweetness reminiscent of vanilla bean. Every quality of this cup idealizes what coffee from Ethiopia can be. THE WASHING STATION The Ana Sora washing station is located in the Guji Zone of southern Ethiopia. For years, coffee cherry from this area was taken to Yirgacheffe in the neighboring Gedeo Zone as the Yirgacheffe name was thought to carry a better reputation. Understanding the uniqueness of the regional microclimate and the potential quality of coffee being grown in the area, second generation coffee farmer Israel Defga began construction of the Ana Sora washing station in 2018. Around 350 farmers supply coffee cherry to the washing station, with their farms ranging between 1900 to 2300 meters above sea level. Because of these high altitudes, the maturation period of the coffee cherries is extended, contributing more sweetness and complexity in the final cup. The beds themselves are constructed of wood with a layer of mesh fabric. This design keeps the coffee suspended off of the ground, at a height that allows workers to easily rotate the seeds for even drying, and permits air to flow underneath and through the bed of coffee

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