Ethiopia Bensa Bombe Natural
As you know, coffee is a fruit and if ever you needed proof, consider this coffee evidence. This organic Bombe natural micro-lot from Ethiopia may, in fact, be the most fruit forward cup we have ever released. A beautiful, clean flavor profile of raspberry, floral lavender, black tea, and chocolate notes dominate this thick, viscous cup. It is a shining example of perfect terroir and intentional processing unified to create a one of a kind coffee.
- Roast: light
- Acidity: fruity
- Body: viscous
- Taste Notes: Raspberry, Lavender, Milk Chocolate, Kiwi, Assam
- Process: natural
- Varietal: Heirloom, Mikicho, Setami
- Origins: Sidama, Ethiopia
- Altitude: 2,100 masl
The Washing Station (by Emily McIntyre):
"This washing station is a culmination of several years of preparation for Sidama coffee man Assefa Dukamo and his family. Bombe Washing Station, 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 station lies the Shantawene, south lies Bombe. This producing season, producers from both 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 action 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 shaded drying tables.
Not only is 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. The allows the local coffee cherries, which are already grown with 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 micro-lots. 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 into the winding cement washing channels and fermentation tanks. The water used to process coffees at Bombe comes from the nearby Bonara 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.
Upon arrival at the export facility, we draw samples from the entire lot and evaluate them next to earlier drawn samples. During export processing, we process each lot with custom preparation. We calibrate the flow of coffee through screen sorting, in order to minimize the excessive flow of multiple screen sizes, which often causes unnecessarily mixed screens. We often isolate individual screen sizes, based on evaluations of each screen size during the sampling process. This allows us to sharpen the focus of the coffee, as each screen size or screen grouping represent different characteristics of the coffee. In general, smaller screen sizes tend to be more floral and herbal, while larger screen sizes tend to be more fruit heavy and juicy. This screen size isolation has lent to distinguishing our coffee preparation from others working in Ethiopia. It is very difficult to implement this type of sorting well. Doing things with excellence is also costly, and we ensure every team member is paid a premium when we are processing our lots. This premium amounts to tripling the daily wages of each laborer. With coffees this beautiful, why would we not want to promote this level of care?"