TASTING NOTES: rose, champagne grape, bergamot.
ROAST STYLE: medium.
PROCESS: white honey.
REGION: Yirgacheffe - Ethiopia.
WHY WE LOVE THIS COFFE: This coffee from the Dumerso Washing Station in the Yirgacheffee region is a really gorgeous, dynamic cup: somehow managing to be both lush and delicate at the same time, full of floral aromas and a sweet fruit finish.
MORE ABOUT THIS COFFEE: We have been waiting for this small lot - special white honey processed coffee!
We're always excited when fresh/new crop coffees arrive, as anyone following coffee news knows, the 2021 season has seen lots of disruptions in shipping and logistics in coffee and that has certainly been true for anyone involved in the coffee chain in Ethiopia. In addition to the (now) normal challenges of climate change, the current upheaval of the pandemic make things even more unpredictable. And for Ethiopia, add to it political unrest and the threat of civil war.
All of which makes the miracle of getting such a delicate product through the knot of today's turbulent international trade all the more incredible and precious.
This coffee is yet another gem brought to us by Catalyst Coffee, the hardworking Portland-Ethiopia based import team, who help make the miracle of international trade happen.
Trust in business (and in all relationships, really) is nothing to take for granted. So when Dumerso finally arrived in Portland, we all breathed a sigh of relief and extra gratitude and for all that it takes.
AN EVEN DEEPER DIVE: For more about how this coffee was produced, Catalyst Coffee reports: "Led by dynamic sister team of CEO Hirut Birhanu and Manager Mahder Birhanu, Dumerso is a family endeavor that is anchored in Yirgacheffe and extends its reach to several other areas of Ethiopia. The flagship washing station is Dumerso, acquired 12 years ago and named for the village where it is located in the Yirgacheffe District.
The family has lovingly worked in coffee for more than 20 years, in the process undergoing quite a lot of upheaval and real challenges. One of the most stunning challenges they faced was one we documented for the global coffee world before we met Hirut and Mahder. (You can read that article at Daily Coffee News: “A Year of Turbulence and New Hope in Ethiopia’s Critically Important Gedeo Zone”) Piggybacking on racial tensions, agitators incited the local people to destroy dozens of washing stations owned by Ethiopians of other tribal backgrounds than Gedeo. Dumerso’s site was looted and destroyed. The family lost a lot of money in the process but remained hopeful that they could do good for the area and rebuild. In the same season, nightly low temperatures that hadn’t been seen in more than fifty years cause frost to strike the area and decimated the harvest. In spite of these challenges, with great fortitude, the family has continued to forge ahead.
Ever since they have been rebuilding and in so doing have begun to focus on dialing in excellence in process controls. We began working with them in 2020, during an epic year of change and challenges. The coffee came in late in the season and wowed us every time on the cupping table with incredibly complex fruits like mandarin, earl grey, lemon sugar and champagne grapes. This, combined with distinct floral and herbal notes such as white rose, bergamot, and eucalyptus, excited us and promised that we’d found the classic Yirgacheffe profile for the first time in a few years of searching for it.
We immediately began to plan for the 2021 season, and our team has spent a lot of time on the ground with their team. Catalyst Trade Founder and Relationships & Processing Director Zelalem Girma Bayou says that he wishes more people were as careful and open to collaboration as the Industrial Manager at the Dumerso site.
Coffee accounts for more than 90% of the livelihood of the local population, and in turn, smallholder farmers, producers, suppliers, traders, and laborers contribute to a majority of the economic activities in the region. Dumerso site employs 14 year-round works and more than 400 during the harvest season, 95% of which are women."