'Tis the season to release ALL of the Ethiopian coffees, so here is the start for us. We're thankful that more and more Ethiopian coffees have traceability down to the Farmer level. We're also thankful when they taste like Carolina Peaches, Loganberries, and Vanilla.
We sourced this coffee with our friends from Falcon Coffee This year they have been able to connect directly with Tariku and source this coffee that represents the best of the classic Yirgacheffe profile.
Tariku Mengesha is the sole owner of this coffee and produced this natural coffee entirely on his farm. The farm is located throughout the Banko Chelchele kebele (neighbourhood) of Gedeb woreda, south of Yirgacheffe and just west of the border with the vast Oromia region. Tariku applied solid agronomic practices and keeps the field free of any weeds. He also grows pulse crops in his coffee field so as to maintain the fertility of the soil. Tariku also follows best pruning practices with technical help from Technoserve and district Agricultural experts.
He processed the coffee with the help of Tesfaye Roba, and this lot has been processed as a traditional Natural process, first by soaking the cherries to remove all immature, floaters, overripe and foreign matters and than drying on raised beds for 28 days. While coffee is Mengesha’s primary income, which he uses to support his family that includes 10 children (3 boys and 7 girls), he also grows navy beans and false banana, called “enset,” which produce no edible fruit but whose root and heart (rhizome and pseudostem, if you want to be botanically accurate) can be harvested.
The average enset matures in four or five years, and the plant can provide around 80 lbs of starchy food, usually fermented underground for up to a year, after which the doughy substance can keep for up to a decade. While the fibers in the heart of the plant can be boiled, the most popular iteration is a fermented enset “bread” or “cheese,” called “kocho” – quite strong and foreign to the western palate, but a staple in Southern Ethiopia.