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We're now into our fifth wonderful year of roasting coffee from Ana Sora, and it's as exciting to see it return in 2020 as it was to roast it for the first time back in 2016! This coffee represents lots of time and energy working at the farmer's gate in Ethiopia, and it's one of the most unique coffees I've ever tasted.
This private farm is owned by Israel Degfa, a second-generation coffee grower from Ethiopia. As coffee farms go, it's a very new farm: it was only formed in 2013. It's located at a whopping altitude of between 1,900 and 2,350 metres above sea level. It's a gorgeous but somewhat tiring walk to get there! (It's not all just holiday snaps, this coffee buying malarkey!)
Situated alongside the river Turo, the farm used to only produce naturally processed coffee. However, over the last year, the farmers have taken advantage of the water source and have begun producing washed coffee too.
It is unusual to find private farms of 250 hectares in Ethiopia, and even more unusual to find them at such high altitudes. The altitude helps with the slower maturation of the coffee cherry and allows more time for the plant to develop, which contributes to the super unique cup profile we see in coffees from Ethiopia.
Coffee growing is popular in this area, and Israel also sources coffee from the surrounding area. That area is populated by smallholder farmers who speak Oromife and are of Oromo ethnicity. Israel believes in helping these farmers through education in husbandry, and also through financial assistance.
Cherries are hand-sorted for unripes and overripes before they go into floatation tanks, where they're covered with water. Any cherries that float are removed. Whole, ripe cherries are then dried in the sunshine on raised African drying beds, which are laid out on hessian cloths for about 15–18 days depending on the weather conditions. The cherries are covered with plastic or shade nets during the midday heat and at night.
It's a unique coffee from a unique relationship, and I'm massively excited to share this coffee with you once again.
An instant classic, once more this year this coffee delivers a perfect blend of fresh, juicy blueberries and a finish that makes me think of Parma Violets. Super elegant natural processing lets the fresh blueberry shine and adds an extra drizzle of sweet pale honey to it too.