Esaias Beriso Arere
Woreda Hambela Wamena
Mango, golden kiwi, and milk chocolate.
This organically produced, naturally processed coffee from producer Esaias Beriso Arere is perfect for those who love a fruity yet mellow filter coffee with a silky mouthfeel and sweet and balanced acidity.
Hailing from Oromia in the beloved West Guji, family heirloom varietals are tended to in red clay soil on the family's beautiful 32-hectare farm. The farm boasts fantastic biodiversity, favourable shady conditions, strongly varied pollinators, and abundant organic fertilizers. Farming and processing are done with traditional practices that are tried and true, cultivating indigenous coffee varietals that are grown and processed traditionally.
Intercropping processes and farming conditions are so in tune with the land most farms from this region are organic by default—a wonderful sign of the health of the land and a demonstration of its farmers' intergenerational knowledge and respect.
Picking, sorting, and drying: Manually harvested from a hand-sorted lot, red ripe cherries are selectively picked at maturity under the eye and experience of Esaias and his family.
Ripe cherry is then floated for defects, graded and placed on 70-cm raised beds for drying.
The chosen cherry is turned frequently and covered during the hottest parts of the day. This prevents bruising and reduces the chance of cherry rotting or going mouldy, whilst still allowing natural fermentation to occur and ensuring steady and even drying.
At around 12-17 days, the cherry reaches optimal moisture levels and the beans are ready to be separated from the cherry, known as ‘hulling’. Once hulled, the Beriso Arere family and their workers complete the final step of dry milling, which is done by removing the outer skin from the beans. The coffee beans now become recognisable in their final raw form as green beans and are then stored for local sale and international export.
Varietal: Heirloom is an umbrella term used to identify the abundance of wild indigenous coffees that grow in Ethiopia. Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, has seen a plethora of wonderful breeding, cross-breeding, and endlessly mutating coffee varietals that number in the thousands. As is often the case, once a desirable varietal is discovered (usually with particular flavour attributes in mind), it will be separated and cultivated on a small farm where it may later be identified as a new varietal. This is one of the things that makes sampling and selecting heirloom varietals so enticing—a surprise almost always awaits.