Like many other coffee fans, we love the clean and defined flavours of a washed Ethiopian coffee. However, there is a real issue with sustainability when it comes to using thousands of gallons of clean water to process a few tonnes of coffee. This Bombe uses a dry fermentation method that gives us the lovely flavours of jasmine, honey, and cantaloupe while using a fraction of the water that a typical washed coffee would require.
We sourced this coffee with help from our friends at Falcon Coffee.
This coffee is named after the Bombe Mountains. Starting 2017/2018 harvest, producers from the Shantawene, Bombe, and Keramo communities delivered their very best cherries to the Bombe site, where they were separated into specific fermentation tanks and drying locations. The layout and good management of Bombe washing station allows for special processing techniques, such as shaded fermentation tanks and washing channels as well as mesh shaded drying tables, to be used with the coffees. The wet mill is well organized and run by a team including member Atkilt Dejene, a female agronomist who has also worked with the award-winning Gesha Village project, among others such as processing specialist Eyasu Bekele, with whom we worked for the Reko Koba project several years running.
The dry fermentation process for this coffee was developed after Kenean who is the son of Asefa Dukamo (the owner and manager of the washing station) visited Guatemala with roaster partner David Bueller of Greenway Coffee and was impressed with the processing protocols at La Esperanza Antigua by Josue Morales from Los Volcanes Coffee.
Josue called Daye Bensa’s Quality manager and explained his washing and dry fermentation technique and this coffee is the result of that collaboration.
Processed by a variation on the traditional washed process (fruit removed from the beans before drying) that adds no water to the tank during fermentation, hence a “dry” fermentation. This dry fermentation involves letting the coffees rest in climate controlled fermentation tanks post de-mucilaging (where the seed is removed from the skin and pulp of the fruit). The coffee rests warm and dry while fermentation kickstarts faster than normal in the warm air environment, activating esters during fermentation and resulting in a hearty, complex, and apparent red fruit flavor while still being washed of its pulp. This process uses a LOT less water and has helped the environmental sustainability in its production.