The Wuri washing station was bought by a company called Ranger in 2017 from the previous owner Abayneh Kebede, and upon purchase, they immediately made changes for the 2017/18 season (i.e. for this coffee). Their goal was to greatly improve the cherry selection and the post-pulping parchment selection, to improve the coffee quality. They also created further traceability of lots based on the time of harvest. I cupped through all of the washed Wuri lots on my last trip to Ethiopia and while they were all good, this lot #4 stood out to me as a notch above. It’s perfumed, floral with lots of tropical fruit.
Wuri obtains coffee cherry from about 850 farmers in the area, and it’s located at the enviable altitude of 2100 meters. At the washing station, the washed coffee is processed with the typical method of the area: 36-48h of underwater fermentation followed by drying on raised beds, with a 12-15 day drying time.
There’s been a lot of industry discussion about varieties of coffee in Ethiopia, with a strong desire by stakeholders to have more specific information beyond “heirloom”. Ethiopian coffee varieties can be broken down into two major categories: “local landrace” and “improved varieties”. These names might seem a bit cryptic, but they are the terms used the Jima Agriculture Research Center (JARC) for the categorization and development of coffee varieties in Ethiopia. Basically, “local landrace” means heirloom and “improved varieties” means varieties that JARC have bread by crossing existing varieties, usually to improve yield and/or pest/disease resistance. Of course, within each category are specific varieties, each local landrace variety has a name and the improved varieties use numbers for names.
The question is: what varieties is this coffee composed of?? I’m told that it’s local landraces varieties, but I don’t have specifics on which varieties. I’m also a touch skeptical that improved varieties are not mixed-in, given that these two categories of varieties have co-habituated for decades. Over the next few seasons, during my trips to Ethiopia, I’ll be attempting to obtain better insight into what’s really growing in the regions we buy from! Shout out to Counter Culture Coffee for openly sharing their work to decode this tricky subject!
This green coffee was frozen immediately on arrival in Calgary, to preserve freshness.