We bought this lot from Ashenafi Argaw through the Operation Cherry Red programme set up by Trabocca (trabocca.com
). The Kilenso washing station receives coffee cherry from small-holding farmers in the area and processes it using both the natural and traditional washed methods. Ashenafi checks the cherry before separating it into different classifications. The cherry is then rinsed and de-pulped which removes the outer skin of the cherry leaving the mucilage (sticky pulp) and parchment (outer shell) around the beans. The coffee is then moved to a tank where the remaining mucilage is removed from the parchment using fermentation. The fermentation stage can take up to 36 hours and when complete the resulting parchment-covered beans are dried on raised platforms where air can circulate through the coffee. Air circulation and optimal temperatures are important to prevent mould and damage during the drying process. Once dry and the remaining moisture level is stabilised across the coffee, the parchment is removed, and the beans are graded and prepared for shipping.