|TASTE||Sweet Lemon, Assam, Apricot Jam|
Beshasha is located in Agaro, in the Jimma zone of Western Ethiopia where, Mustefa Abakeno is a smallholder with 18 hectares of land. His farm is located at 2,040masl and is planted with coffee varieties from the Jimma research centre.
Mustefa has a small disc pulper that he uses to wash-process half of his coffee; the other half is dried as a natural. Due to a lack of water in the area and limited space to ferment the coffee, Mustefa ferments the pulped coffee for a short period (8 hours) before he moves it to his drying beds (for 13-16 days), as a result he has created a hybrid process something like a honey process.
The natural processed coffee he produces take 24-27 days to dry on African (raised) beds. Mustefa only registered as an exporter in 2018 in order to sell his coffee directly to buyers, this small wet mill he has set up (Beshasha) is used to process his and outgrowers coffee. He keeps these separate, drying them on raised beds near his house, Mustefa’s outgrowers are all neighbours and each have between 4 and 10 hectares of land.
With the support of the Falcon team in Addis Ababa, we are able to work directly with small producers such as Mustefa. Along side Falcon we see a huge opportunity to help improve quality, as we are able to work with Falcon and the producers on cherry selection, drying and farm management. In 2021, Falcon added an agronomist to their team, Harun. Harun’s primary focus during this last harvest has been to train and support Mustefa and the local farmers that bring their cherries to the washing station. Harun has been improving processes at the washing station: installing shade netting to cover drying beds during the hottest hours of the day; instigating cherry selection at the delivery point; tagging day lots in order to keep them separate and monitor moisture content throughout the drying phase, ensuring even drying before the lots are assembled.
Mustefa has a small field lab and in 2020 he bought a high-spec Sinar moisture reader to ensure that all the parchment dried in the stations was reaching the same moisture level before being stored in the warehouse. Harun has been assessing and grading the dried day-lots, putting them together based on quality and cupping profile. He is currently training farmers in good agricultural practices (GAP) in order to improve the quality and productivity of their coffee gardens.
In 2020, Mustefa acquired a second washing station, Kabira, to receive cherries from local producers. Due to subtle differences in location and microclimate, Beshasha now almost exclusively processes washed lots, while Kabira, which has more space for drying beds, is more suited to processing naturals. This is why we have renamed the lots after the washing stations where they were processed.
We have been delighted by the sweet florals of this washed lot, Sweet Lemon, Assam and Apricots. This is a real champion of classic Ethiopian washed coffee's a winner on filter!