REGION: Sidama FARM: Co-Op FARMERS: Assefa Dukamo
ALTITUDE: 1900 – 2100 M VARIETAL: Setami | Mickicho PROCESS: Natural
This complex changing flavors of orange zest, rue or ‘rou’, pineapple, and peach. You will find your cup of coffee has notes of boysenberry and chocolate with a nectarine acidity, and a medium body.
This washing station is a culmination of several years of preparation for Sidama coffee man Assefa Dukamo and his family. Bombe Washing Station is named for the Bombe Mountains which stand to the south of several of the washing stations where we've worked the past few years, specifically Shantawene and Qonqona Washing Stations. On the north side of this washing stating lies the Shantawene, on the south lies Bombe. This producing season, producers from both communities delivered cherries to this site, as a central processing point for Organic Certified coffees. While Shantawene maintains a washing station of its own, this site location took lots from both communities and separated each lot in specific fermentation tanks and drying locations. This provides many more opportunities to the producers, as well as centralizes special processing techniques, such as shaded fermentation tanks and washing channels as well as mesh shaded drying tables.
Not only is the wet mill well-organized and run by a team including newest member Atkilt Dejene, a female agronomist who has also worked with the award-winning Gesha Village project, but the community of producers achieved several levels of certification, including NOP and JAS Organic as well as C.A.F.E. Practices. This allows the local coffee cherries, already grown using organic practices, to reach new markets around the world.
Volume capacity at Bombe washing station is 2.5 million kgs of cherries, but in 2018 its output was much less as it focused on microlots. As is our custom, we have been very involved in the processing of our lots, visiting multiple times during the harvest and processing season to check in and pull samples in person and also bringing buyers from the United States and Europe to cup on site. For the 2017/2018 production cycle, we implemented drying tables with shade mesh canopy for slower and more gentle drying. These lots are very limited and make up the entirety of naturals we are importing from this site. We find the cup characteristics of these shade dried naturals enhance fruit juice character and sweetness.
Bombe is 3.7 hectares in total, with a four-disk Agard pulper in cherry red anchoring the mechanic's shack and feeding into the winding cement washing channels and fermentation tanks. The water used to process coffees at Bombe comes from the nearby Bonara river and the coffee is dried in typical style, on raised bamboo tables with mesh beds to increase air flow. Access to dried coffee in the storehouse is limited to ensure no contamination, and coffee is transported through Hawassa to Addis for final export processing.
We implement several levels of quality protocols, which include multiple samplings from lots, as they are on the drying tables and kept in separate batches in the mill storehouse, and as the lots arrive in Addis. This allows us the opportunity to anticipate what to expect from each coffee even from a very early stage in the process, and it allows us to verify quality at each control point.