KUMQUAT, JASMINE TEA
KUMQUAT, JASMINE TEA
One of our favourite coffees makes a triumphant return, this year’s fresh harvest from the Werka washing station stood out on the cupping table during our most recent travels in Ethiopia.
On a table full of some supreme fresh crop Ethiopian lots, covering the best stations and co-ops the country has to offer - to stand out head and shoulders above the rest requires something truly special; and we’re sure you will agree that this coffee really is just that.
Werka washing station
Werka in the Gedio language translates as “Gold”, and Wuri translates as “High Altitude”, an apt naming for the superlative quality produced by the farmers in this community. The Werka Wuri washing station is found in the Werka-Sakaro kebele which itself is located in the Gedeb Woreda - a small district in the region near the town of Yirgacheffe, internationally famous for coffees abounding with floral and citric flavours. The Gedeb Woreda has large stretches of cool and humid Afromontane forests, with excellent suitability for coffee production.
The cherries were produced by 850 smallholder farmers growing typically a few acres at most, collectively bringing their cherries to a central washing station throughout the harvest in November and December. As soon as the coffee cherry is delivered, it is immediately pulped and laid out to dry on raised drying tables. Drying typically takes 12 to 20 days, which allows time for the beans moisture content to drop down to an optimum 12%. Throughout this drying period, teams of skilled workers hand sort for defects and continually turn the coffee ensuring that an even drying takes place. The farmers in this area grow a wide selection of locally selected varietals. These varieties are completely specific to the area that they are being grown, and are closely linked to the wild forest coffee that grows throughout the coffee producing regions of Ethiopia. Through selective breeding, the trading of seeds from the best yielding and most hardy plants, each region has developed its own unique melange of landraces that draws heavily on the diverse range of coffee genetics present in Ethiopia. These landraces are grown alongside a smaller minority of varieties bred by the Jimma Agricultural Centre to provide resistance to coffee berry disease and leaf rust while also providing good yields and cup quality.
To best brew this coffee, we suggest using a v60 to highlight the complex acidity and bouquet of floral aromatics this coffee has in abundance. We suggest a dose of 15g ground medium fine – bloom this for 30 seconds with 50g of soft filtered water at 93c, stirring to ensure even wetting of all the coffee. Pour the next 200g of water in one continuous circular pour, taking 45 seconds to reach a final weight of 250g. Stir in a circular motion twice to ensure no coffee sticks to the side of the filter as it draws down, with a total brew time of 2:45.