Ethiopia Semalo Pride Gelana Honey

Our Ethiopia Semalo Pride Gelana Honey comes from the majestic green valley of Torre, the village of Semalo, Gelana and the Semalo Pride Mill. Here in the deeply isolated Yirgacheffe countryside, the coffee farms are surrounded by acacia trees, bright green grass and tiny bonsai-like bushes. Small farm holders responsible for producing this Ethiopia Semalo Pride Gelana Honey lot reside at the base of Lato Samalo Mountain, where they are producing producing two, local, high grade varietals called Karume and Tulenge at elevations of 6,069 – 6.889 feet to be processed at the nearby Semalo Pride mill and its workers. We have a small stock of this Ethiopia Semalo Pride Gelana Honey which cups nicely with a heavy acidity, creamy body and notes of lemon verbena, white rose, dried apples and berries.

In only its fourth year in production, the Semalo Pride mill is already employing 200 people and several key permanent staff members who oversee daily operations. The mill is owned and operated by female producer, Firewoyne Tesfaye along with its sister mill, Reko Koba (also managed by Firewoyne Tesfaye). Semalo Pride utilizes fermentation tanks to remove low-density cherries or floaters before processing. They have also replaced their raised bamboo drying beds which are prone to mold, with newer ones constructed of a metal and plastic mesh. All of the mill’s workers are trained in strict processing protocols. Growers are incentivized with premiums to produce high quality, ripe cherries, and the emphasis on quality has resulted in some outstanding special preparation lots. Thanks to great care on the part of the growers and the mill, this Ethiopia Semalo Pride Gelana Honey is an outstanding example of a fine, honey processed Ethiopian green coffee.

Zodi, the Operations Manager for the Ethiopia Semalo Pride Gelana mill, has worked in coffee processing his entire life, contributing to his team a rare and valuable understanding of the Ethiopian coffee process. Their accountant, Tesfaye oversees transport of the coffees and is responsible for the payment of every small farm producer who contributes cherries to the wash station. Engineer and mechanic Teriku is responsible for operating and maintaining the pulping machine, a critical role when it comes to the success of processing high quality coffees. The Ethiopia Semalo Pride Gelana pulping machine must be properly calibrated for different coffee types – if done improperly, it is very easy for coffee to become nipped, bruised and torn during pulping.

Each lot of Ethiopia Semalo Pride Gelana Honey coffee undergoes an initial fermentation that lasts 6 hours. Honey processing has become somewhat popular for a different taste profile from many coffee countries over the last few years. Using the honey method, coffee cherries are de-pulped, but much of the cherry fruit is left on the bean. The remnants of the cherry will then ferment into the bean – with mill operators very carefully drying and rotating the beans so there isn’t any chance of rot that could ruin the lot.

The Gelana District is located in the Borena Zone which borders the SNNPR, Gedeo and Guji. Although technically classified as the Gelana Abaya District, it borders Kochere and lies within the larger coffee growing area known as Yirgacheffe. The Borena Zone is just one of many zones within the larger Oromia region, but in as early as 2005 it accounted for nearly 6% of Ethiopia’s total coffee production. Today coffee production remains a major component of the Borena economy along with several gold mines that are located here.

Cupping Notes: Good body, medium acidity with lemon verbena, dried apples and berries.
Producer: Firewoyne Tesfaye
District: Gelana
Region: Oromia
Variety: Karume, Tulenge (Gesha type)
Processing: Honey Processed & Sun Dried
Altitude: 1850 - 2100m (6,069 - 6.889 ft)
Coffee Grading: 1
Harvest: Nov- Jan