This cup is coming from 800 farmers living in Konga a village near the Yirgachefe District of the Gedeo Zone within, Ethiopia. Farmers deliver ripe cherries to the Konga coffee station which is owned and operated by Mekuria Mergia. Ripe cherries are carefully sorted and pulped. After pulping, the beans are fermented for 36 to 48 hours (slightly longer than average) and then washed. The wet beans in parchment are placed on raised drying beds in thin layers and turned every 2 to 3 hours during the first few days of the drying process. Depending on weather, the beans are dried for 10 to 12 days until the moisture in the coffee beans is reduced to 11.5 percent. Then the beans are transported to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to be milled, screened, and bagged prior to export.
Yirgacheffe is actually part of the Gedeo Zone, in southern Ethiopia, but its exquisite washed coffees are so well-known that is has been sub-divided into its own micro-region. This steep, green area is both fertile and high – much of the coffee grows at 2,000m and above. At first glance, Yirgacheffe’s hills look thickly forested – but in fact, it is a heavily populated region and the hills are dotted with many dwellings and villages’ growing what is known as ‘garden coffee’. There are approximately 26 cooperatives in the region, representing some 43,794 farmers and around 62,004 hectares of garden coffee. The production is predominantly washed, although a smaller amount of sundried coffees also come out of Yirgacheffe.