Ethiopia Suke Quto Organic
Honey, Lemon Grass, Persimmon
Ethiopia Suke Quto Organic $19.00
Producer: Tesfaye Bekele
Farm: Suke Quto
Complex with flavors of honey, apricot, caramel, lemongrass, persimmon, and green apple.
We are pleased to offer the first of two lots from Suke Quto farm this season. This lot was processed by the pulped natural method (also known as honey processed,) which is highly unusual in Ethiopia. Known for its stunning washed and natural processed coffee, some growers in Ethiopia are beginning to experiment with new processing techniques. With the pulped natural method, the skin of the coffee cherry is removed but the fruit mucilage remains on the seed during the drying stage. The resulting flavor tends to be smoother than a standard washed process coffee, with a fruit forward character reminiscent of natural processed types. While visiting Ethiopia in January of 2018 we tasted some of the initial results of these pulped natural tests, and were generally unimpressed with the flavor profiles, especially when compared to the traditional washed lots. In the years since we have tasted more sample, usually with the same results. When we received this Suke Quto sample however, our impression changed. This lot expresses a massive range of fruit flavors, while also retaining balance we did not recognize in the first pulped natural lots we sampled.
Suke Quto is owned and operated by Ato Tesfaye Bekele, one of the people that helped put the Guji region on the specialty coffee map. Tesfaye comes from a coffee-producing family but started his working career in the Ethiopian government’s Natural Resource and Environmental Protection department. The Guji region suffered from large wildfires in the late 1990s that destroyed thousands of acres of forestland. As a responsible government official, Tesfaye worked to provide an alternative to intensive crops like maize and tef, with the idea of replanting the forests with indigenous flora, including coffee. The local community agreed to the proposal but when they found out it could take 4-5 years before the plants would yield fruit, they lost interest. He couldn’t even find people manage the seedling nursery, so he resigned from his government position to focus on coffee farming. Once he began harvesting coffee the community returned to inquire about seedlings.