This exceptional naturally processed coffee was grown by smallholder farmers living around the kebele (town) of Konga in Yirgacheffee, SNNPR Region. The washing station (Konga Wote) is partly owned by Mr Beyene Eshete and Primrose S.P. PLC.
Primrose pays more than the market price for a kilogram of red cherry (the fruit inside which the coffee bean resides), and those farmers that bring quality red cherry are paid a cash incentive, ensuring higher-than-average overall quality.
Coffee is selectively hand-picked to ensure optimal ripeness before being delivered to the mill collection points. Here, lots are separated by quality, producer and date of production. At least once a day coffee cherries are delivered to the mill, where they are floated and then placed on raised beds to be sorted by hand and dried.
Great care is taken upon delivery to remove any over-ripe, under-ripe or damaged cherries. Once sorted, the cherry will remain on the beds for around 15 to 20 days, until the cherry has reached the ideal moisture content. Next, the dried cherry will be transported to Primrose’s dry mill and warehouse in Addis Ababa city. Here, coffee is dry milled to remove foreign material, remaining parchment, and defective beans so it is ready for export.
Varieties of coffee grown here are traditionally referred to as ‘heirloom’ by exporters – a catchall terminology which often masks the wide assortment of varieties that may be present within various regions or even within farms. It is thought that there may be up to ten thousand naturally occurring varieties in the wild.