This micro-batch of specialty coffee comes from the plantations of about 500 small producers who take their harvest to the Torea Village washing station which is located in the Yirgacheffe region in Ethiopia. This cooperative has been active for over 20 years, it has the biological certification and is specialized in the natural processing method.
Region: Ethiopia – Yirgacheffe – Abaya
Altitude: 2.150 MASL
Producer: Circa 500 small farmers
Processing station: Torea Village
Cultivar: Arabica – Ethiopian Heirloom
Harvest: Manual picking October/December 2017
Processing method: Natural method with raised beds
Green coffee lot:
A very sweet and full-bodied cup
Blueberry, strawberry &
Rivanazzano Terme (Italy)
The small producer’s plantations are located on dark clay soils which are particularly fertile for the varieties of native coffee. The various older cultivars are categorized with the Ethiopian Heirloom denomination. Ethiopia, the original cradle of coffee, is the only country in which this plant still grows naturally, giving rise to a spontaneous evolution of the species. Numerous botanical studies are in progress to outline a more complete picture of the individual cultivars.
Most of the coffee plants grow in the shade cast by banana trees and tall palm trees that create a particularly favorable microclimate. Even the strong temperature range facilitated by the altitude positively influences the organoleptic profile that we find in the cup.
The harvest of ripe cherries is done strictly by hand and takes place between the months of October and December. Every day during the harvest season, the producers bring their crops to the nearby Torea station.
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When the harvested coffee cherries reach the Torea Village processing station, they are immediately classified according to the degree of maturity, then spread out on raised beds and left to dry. The natural process involves the slow drying of the cherries, in this way the sugary part of the mucilage is absorbed by the grains which in consequence develop very floral and sweet scents. This process can last 8 to 15 days in sunny weather, or even 15 to 20 days if covered to avoid the rain. The beans are constantly monitored and re-mixed so as to obtain a homogeneous drying.
Once dried, the cherries are peeled to separate the grains from what is left of the peel. The coffee beans still in parchment are again laid on raised beds for a final check and then collected in jute sacks to be transported by ship.
Founded back in 1997, the Torea Village processing station now employs 52 people. Wellness programs such as the providing of daily full meals of meat have been implemented to reduce the turnover of workers. Producers participating in the cooperative are also supported with the supply of fertilizer obtained from the peel of coffee cherries. Even buyers support the qualitative improvement by paying higher prices and conducting a constant control check with visits and inspections.
The naturally processed coffees in the Torea Village station are characterized by a delicate acidity and a natural sweetness with marked floral and red fruit scents. Its sweetness is enriched by a good body and a persistent aftertaste. This coffee is particularly balanced and structured, allowing the most delicate elements not to get lost. It is an ideal companion to be sipped slowly in the company of a good book.
ETHIOPIAN COFFEE RITUAL
In Ethiopia, coffee is still today the subject of a truly hospitality ritual. The ceremony is developed over an hour and conducted strictly by a woman. The beans are roasted in a pot and immediately ground to then add the coffee in hot water inside a special coffee maker called jebena. The drink is served warm in small cups without a handle, taking care to pour gradual doses into each cup, repeating the process two more times, always adding new boiling water to the jebena.
Photo credit: Cafe Imports
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ROASTED BY LITTLE BEAN
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