While certainly delivering the jammy strawberry and blueberry notes that are classically associated with dry processed Ethiopian coffees, this stunningly sweet selection offers clean, incredibly complex floral and tropical fruit qualities that are considerably rarer to find in coffees of this style. Look for aromas of violet, cocoa, and blueberry compote and flavors of mango, watermelon, and peach candy in the cup.
This spectacular coffee is a single-farm lot from Ganale Dulacha, a farmer from the woreda of Uraga in southern Ethiopia’s Guji zone. The coffee comes to us from Mr. Ture Waji, a renowned producer of dry-processed coffees. Ture is the owner of Sookoo Coffee, a family owned exporter specializing in coffees of the Guji region and previously the source of Passenger’s 2020 Bookkisa offering.
Ganale Dulacha is a coffee farmer who lives with his wife and four children in the woreda of Uraga in southern Ethiopia’s Guji Zone. The Guji region has been the source of many of the finest Ethiopian coffees that our team has tasted in recent years and this particular release, produced from coffee fruit that was grown and harvested by Ganale, certainly continues that trend.
Last year Passenger released another dry processed Ethiopian Reserve Lot (“dry processed coffees” are also sometimes referred to as “naturals” or “sundried” coffees) called Bookkisa that was produced under the management of Ture Waji and the Sookoo Coffee team. Ture, often referred to as “The King of Guji” in specialty coffee circles, has been known for some time as a true master of dry processing, the person behind some of cleanest, most delightfully complex Ethiopian naturals in recent years. We first became aware of Ture during the time that he was working as a quality manager, and overseeing the production of similarly exceptional dry processed coffees, at two well respected private estates in southern Ethiopia: Mormora and Guji Highlands. Since that time Ture has established his own company, Sookoo Coffee, exported his first lots in 2018, and currently operates processing sites in Shakisso and Uraga.
The present coffee was also processed and exported by Ture and his team, however, in contrast to last year’s Bookkisa lot which was composed of cherry deliveries from 33 smallholder coffee farmers, this is a single farmer lot, composed entirely of coffee grown and delivered by Ganale Dulacha and his family. While single-farmer lots of this kind are certainly not unheard of in Ethiopia, community lots are far more common due to the fact that many Ethiopian coffee farmers produce such tiny volumes of cherry, making single-farmer separations impossible. Needless to say, when the opportunity to purchase this very special coffee presented itself, we jumped at the opportunity. While pandemic-related travel restrictions made it impossible for us to make our annual trip to Ethiopia this year, and we have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Ganale and his family, we are incredibly grateful and proud to share this coffee and excited to pursue more projects with this community in the coming years.
Why are Ture’s naturals so delicious? As with any other processing method, top quality dry processed coffees simply do not happen by accident. Ture and his team train the farmers they buy from to only deliver coffee harvested at peak ripeness and they sort and dry the coffee cherries with incredible attention to detail following delivery. When drying the coffee on raised beds, great care is taken to remove underripe and overripe cherries by hand while the coffee is still fresh. Sorting early is important due to the fact that, once the coffee has dried for some time, color differences between the cherries are much less apparent. Ture’s team also keeps the depth of the coffee on the beds at 4cm or less and turns the coffee about 6 times a day to ensure even drying. When drying is complete, the coffee “pods” are rested in jute bags before undergoing multiple rounds of hand-sorting and optical sorting after hulling to remove defective beans.