Origin: Ethiopia, Sidama Region
Roast Level: Light
Elevation: 2100-2200 MASL
We Taste: Lemonade, Mango, Peach, Intense Florals
We first contacted Catalyst Trade in early 2021 about working together. Catalyst specializes in the importation of Ethiopian coffees and we'd heard only wonderful things about their quality and the samples they sent only exceeded our expectations. They are also a company whose values match our own: uncompromising, sustainable quality. Their goal is to make coffee as economically sustainable for those growing the coffee as possible.
This coffee had everything we look for in a washed Ethiopian coffee: bright citrus, stone fruit, velvety mouthfeel and lovely florals.
In the words of the Catalyst team:
"Demeka Becha site is situated at the top of a hill, which is ideal for air flow along the drying beds. You enter through tin gates which open onto lush green grass and, if you’re lucky, smiling day laborers lined up clapping and whistling their excitement at your visit.
The Demeka Becha site is owned by Ayele Tulu, a Sidama man who is deeply integrated into the local area of Bona Zuria where he has a few sites. His son Tsegab Ayele, who speaks fluent English and is eagerly involved with coffee culture globally through social media, is his right hand and manages the project. Tsegab’s younger brother Abinet (still in college but clearly on route to joining the family business) is responsible for photography and making sure that his dad has a chair and is comfortable.
The heart, perhaps the true engine, of the family is Genet Haile Endeshow, Tsegab’s mother and Ayele’s wife. She fills up their lives and the home with her warmth, and her embrace expands to include everyone who has the privilege of working with the family and their coffee producing sites. She’ll make you a killer doro wat or chicken stew, which is served to honor guests in Ethiopia, and follow it up with traditional Ethiopian buna (coffee), served on her porch below the flowering vines that shade it even in the heat of midday.
Demeka Becha site pulls cherries from nearby communities including Dilla Suke, Demeka, Goacho, Becha, and Bashiro Dale—close to 10,000 producers are situated in the areas surrounding the washing station. The situation of the site Producers bring their cherries to be weighed on the characteristic blue scale, logged in the book by Cashier and General Manager, Alemu Gobaro, and floated before being dumped into the cement hopper to begin the journey through the 4-disk Agard pulper and into fermentation tanks and cement washing channels. There are 10 tanks for density grades 1 and 2, and 2 tanks for low density coffee destined for our Community Lot program if it meets our standard, or for the local market. Following fermentation and washing, the parchment coffee is carried by hand to the drying beds where laborers spread it out to the depth of a fingertip and keep it turning until it is dried and moved to the locked storehouse to await trucking to Addis Ababa and final processing."