This coffee comes from a collection of smallholder producers in the area of Koke. Coffee is a family crop – grown by households within small gardens, on less than one hectare of land. Producers line their homes with coffee trees, and it is the primary source of income. It is common for producers to intercrop "enset" (Ethiopian banana), avocados, and papaya to have additional food sources.
In Yirgacheffe region, coffee is one of the main cash crops and grown on land covering from 0.5 to 1.5 hectares. This is usually planted alongside a second cash crop – often a large-leafed tree used in making roofs for (and also shade provider for the coffee) known as enset or 'false banana'. This looks like a banana tree but is not - instead, its thick stem is used to produce both a nutritious flour and a fermented paste that are staple ingredients (particularly across southern Ethiopia).
This coffee was processed using the natural method; a complex process requiring a high level of attention to detail in order to be done well. Ethiopian coffee has been processed this way by generations of farmers who have mastered the art of the natural method through centuries of tradition and experience.
After the coffee is carefully hand-picked by each producer – they are carried to the washing station. This is roughly an 8km journey for producers, and is normally done on foot, by donkey, or motorbike. Upon arrival, the cherries are immediately sorted to remove under and overripe cherries.
The cherries are then evenly dispersed on raised beds to dry in the open sun until the ideal moisture content is reached, which can take 15-20 days.