About the coffee
Farm: Ana Sora
Producer: Israel Degfa
Varietal: The hybrid planted at Ana Sora is 11/714 which is hybrid of local landrace
Harvested: November 2018-January 2019
Area: Guji zone
Nearest town: Yirgacheffe
Founding year: 2013
Altitude: 1900 – 2350 masl
Farm size: 250 hectares, of which 150 hectares are coffee.
Flavour profile: The coffee is sweet and round reminding a lot of blueberry mousse, with notes of blackberry, sweet lemon and papaya.
Roast style: Light to medium to enhance the natural sweetnes of the coffee.
We are beyond excited for the process- and drying station built at Ana Sora. And we are amazed of the processing standards! This is the fourth year that we are buying coffee from Israel Degfa, but it is the first year ever that the coffee Ana Sora is processed on site, on 2350 meters! The drying beds and the process station was built at Ana Sora during our last visit in November 2018. . And we promise you that if Ana Sora was stunning last year, it is even better processed on site.
It is also the first time this coffee will come as both washed and natural processed coffee. Keep your eyes open for a the release of the washed processed coffee. The coffee from Ana Sora represents a lot of time and energy working at the farmers gate in Ethiopia.
About Ana Sora
Most coffee in Ethiopia comes from cooperatives, not private farms. Working with Israels' private farms makes it easier to maintain our relationships and keep in contact with the producer.
Six years ago Isreal started clearing the wild forest to plant coffee plants what is now known as Ana Sora. Isreal and his team started teaching local farmers how to grow coffee, so they could expand their crops from only corn, and now there is an abundance of coffee being grown as this high altitude of up to 2350masl. Ana Sora is about 150 hectare of producing coffee. It is located in Yirgacheffe, in the Goji region. It is far up in the mountains and is difficult to get to by car. The local commune could not finance the building of a bridge on the road up to the farm, so Israel built a bridge and road with his team and paid for it by the company Kerchanshe. That is how Israel is, he fixes things and looks after his staff and production.
The farm covers 250 hectares of tightly planted coffee plants, with the idea that they could shelter each other from the harsh weather, and all survive, and it seems that they are all thriving today!
Up at 2350masl it is difficult to take the picked coffee to another processing station, so Isreal took it upon himself and built their own washing station as well as drying beds, all the way up at Ana Sora. This coffee might be the highest processed coffee you ever have. Turo is a river that runs along the side of Ana Sora, and where they get their processing water from.
The cement of the fermentation tanks was drying when we were last at Ana Sora November 2018, and the pulper was being installed, and this year will be the first year we get to try coffee from Ana Sora washed as well as naturally processed, all up at 2350masl!
The surrounding land of Ana Sora is populated by small holder farmers who are of Oromo ethnicity and speak mainly Oromo. Israel believes in helping those farmers with education in husbandry and financial assistance. He feels this is the only way to produce sustainable coffee in Ethiopia.
The surrounding farmers delivering to Ana Sora is being paid by cash and all of the payments are logged in the books. To pay cash they have a security house in the farm for all of the money.
Nearby Ana Sora there is a school called Yerba Buleye, which works with the farm to teach the children how to work and farm coffee. Israel also supports an orphanage school in the neighbouring village.
Installing and building 18 fermentation tanks, steady drying tables and pulping process creates a lot of work for people in the Anasora area. All of the workers are registered and covered by the rainforest certification.
The natural process
Ana Sora is situated alongside the river Turo and the farm is surrounded by forest land, with many springs that are feeding into the Turo. The farm, as of this year, has a washing station in full production, and for the first time are able to process washed coffee up on the mountains as well.
Cherries are hand-sorted from unripe and overripe cherries before they go into floatation tanks, where the cherries are covered with water. Any cherries that float are removed. Whole, ripe cherries are then dried in the sunshine on raised African drying beds, which are laid out on hessian cloths for about 18-30 days depending on the weather conditions. The cherries are covered with plastic or shade nets during the midday heat and at night.
The natural process means that the beans are left to dry in the cherry after it is picked. This is a tricky process to do well, as the beans need to be turned over for a consistent and even drying. If some cherries are not dried it will give a moldy flavour to the cup as well as over fermented flavours. But when it is done well, it gives a sweet cup and a bigger body. In the case of Ana Sora, the natural process is what enhances the blueberry mousse character in the coffee.
About Israel Degfa
This private farm is owned by Israel Degfa, a second generation coffee grower from Ethiopia and someone who has become a good friend of ours. We share values and support Israel’s vision of getting people in Ethiopia out of poverty through coffee.
Israel was born on a coffee farm near Sidamo, Yirgalem, and his parents were both in coffee in different ways. His mum sold coffee at the bus station and his dad was a farmer. This is where he found his love for coffee. He studied primary school in Yiralem and went to high school and collage in Addis Abeba.
In 2013 Israel founded the company by Kerchanshe trading company that is named after the nearest town, Kerchanste town (fondly referred to as Kercha). Today he has no less than 21 washing stations and a few dry-mills. Add to that, the guy is 31 years old and only had the business for 5 years.
Drop Coffee and Israel Degfa
Israel visited us the first year in 2015. Before we were working together, he was the one looking after me, Joanna, when I got sick in on a buying trip in Ethiopia. And the rest is history. From that we have worked together and visiting each other every year. Obviously we are a tiny buyer to all of Israels 21 washing stations, but coffee buying for Drop is about relationships and stunning coffee.
With Israel being having a private estate it is making it easy to build a close relationship, but also as we share many ideas about sustainability. To say the least, Israel is standing up for the local society and sustainable income for the farmers. I have a trust to Israel and his working model and am extraordinary proud to work with him.
The FOB price for this coffee was 2,7 USD per pound.