QUALITY SCORE: 88.25
Earl Grey Tea / Damson Plum / Nectarine / Candied Orange
Suggested for espresso and filter
THE STORY BEHIND
Duromina, which means “to improve their lives” in the Afan Oromo language, is a coffee cooperative in the South Western Jimma Zone. Coffee has grown here for generations but was traditionally processed using the dry, natural method and farmers used to pay little attention to quality control.
Despite an ideal climate and altitude for coffee growing, the coffee in that area was synonym with poor quality. Year after year, farmers received low prices for their coffee, earning little income as a result. On paper these farmers had it all; very high altitude, rich and fertile soils, Ethiopia's incredibly complex heirloom varietals and good rainfall percentage. The missing link was quality control, but now that this problem has been assessed, the Duromina farmers produce coffees of outstanding levels with scores of 90+ being achieved.
In 2010, around one hundred local coffee farmers gathered to form Duromina. As the name suggests, their goal was simple: to improve their lives. With technical support, business advice and access to finance through TechnoServe’s Coffee Initiative, the members acquired and installed a wet mill and began processing fully washed coffee for the first time.
These improvements helped Duromina produce high-quality coffee and bring new prosperity to the community. Two years later, an international panel of professional judges would select Duromina’s coffee as the best in Africa, awarding the cooperative the top prize in the leading regional cupping competition.
Ethiopian Heirloom, why the generic name? It's estimated that there are somewhere in-between six and ten thousand coffee varietals in Ethiopia. And due to this colossal figure, there hasn’t been the genetic testing to allow buyers to distinguish the varietal. With the cross pollination that naturally happens in the wild, the name ‘Ethiopian Heirloom’ exists as a catch all phrase to describe this happenstance. However, that really makes Ethiopian quite a mystery – and an interesting mystery with that as each village or town could potentially have a different varietal which could carry very unique properties.
Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, meaning it was only naturally found here!
THE FERMENTATION PROCESS
Washed coffees showcase solely the bean. They let you taste you what’s on the inside, not the outside. Washed coffees depend almost 100% on the bean having absorbed enough natural sugars and nutrients during its growing cycle. This means the varietal, soil, weather, ripeness, fermentation, washing, and drying are absolutely key.
Washed coffees reflect both the science of growing the perfect coffee bean and the fact that farmers are an integral part of crafting the taste of a coffee bean. When looking at washed coffees, it becomes apparent that the country of origin and environmental conditions play a vital role in adding to the flavour.
During wet processing, the pulp (i.e.the exocarp and a part of the mesocarp) is removed mechanically. The remaining mesocarp, called mucilage, sticks to the parchment and is also removed before drying. During this process, the sugars present in the mucilage are removed through natural fermentation or mechanical scrubbing. Mucilage is insoluble in water and clings to parchment too strongly to be removed by simple washing. Mucilage can be removed by fermentation followed by washing or by strong friction in machines called mucilage removers. Fermentation can be done by stacking the coffee outside or placing it under water and allowing nature to take its course. After the sugars are removed, the beans then can be taken through a secondary washing to remove any additional debris, or taken immediately to the beds for drying.