Kochere is one of the woredas in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Gedeo Zone, Kochere is bordered on the east by Gedeb, on the southwest by the Oromia Region, and the north by Yirgacheffe.
The Kerchanshe’s Kochere washing station was built in 2014 and processes up to 15,000,000kg of ripe coffee cherries each year from its 2500 contributing smallholders who bring their ripe cherries for processing. These coffees are typically rich, juicy and present fruity flavours.
Farmers around Kochere have trees at elevations ranging from 1350-2250 meters above sea level, making it one of the washing stations with coffees from the widest range of elevations in Yirgacheffe Kochere.
Agro-Ecology of Kochere
Agro‐ecology of Kochere include warm‐to‐cool, arid, mid‐highlands (towards the northeastern tip of the livelihood zone); warm‐to‐cool, sub‐humid, mid‐highlands in the north; warm‐to‐cool, humid, mid‐ highlands towards the east and central parts; hot‐to‐warm, sub‐moist lowlands, as well as hot‐to‐warm, moist lowlands towards the south.
- Rainfall: 800-1800 mm
- Altitude: 1500 and 2500 meters above sea level
- Soil type: Luvisols.Slope: Due to the remarkable gradient, soil formation varies between the rolling slopes cut deep by the abundant perennial rivers in the highland and the alluvial deposits in the lowlands. At areas on the highlands where the soil formed on the volcanic rocks (rhyolites), and where slope gradient is higher, the depth of the soil is between 50 cm and 2 meters and is mostly clay to silty mixed with scree. As one descends to the lower altitudes the soil gets thicker and becomes mostly silty clay or clayey silt. This fertile soil and the altitudinal variation favors the proliferation of varied and rich plant life occupying varied eco-zones.
- Temperature: mean annual temperature of 12.5°C-25°C.
- Harvest: October-January
- Altitude: 1900 – 2100 masl
Method of Coffee Processing
At Kochere, farmers pick coffee selectively, harvesting only ripe cherries individually by hand. Pickers rotate among the trees every eight to ten days, choosing only the cherries which are at peak ripeness.
Natural Coffee Processing.
Kochere processing site has a dry mill with a capacity to produce per 15 Bags/hour. 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 15–18 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 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 Kochere, the natural process is what enhances the blueberry mousse character in the coffee.
Kochere Processing Site has a wet mill with a capacity to produce 30Bags/hour.
Each day, red cherries collected from farmers are carefully hand-picked coffee cherries are delivered to the Kochere wet mill and are hand-sorted before processing to remove unripe, overripe, or damaged fruit, to enhance the quality and sweetness of the cup.
The coffee cherries are then pulped to remove the fruit and skin, and then graded by weight; heavier beans are of superior quality and deliver a sweeter cup. After grading, the parchment-covered coffee is fermented in tanks of clean water for 36–72 hours to remove the mucilage (sticky covering) by allowing it to ferment and detach from the coffee.
The coffee is then re-washed and graded again by density in washing channels and soaked in clean water. Then to it passes through three drying stages. Skin drying for 3 hours, slow drying for 3 days under plastic shade, and final drying for 10–15 days on African drying beds based on environmental conditions.
Then dried coffee is carefully hand-sorted, and any defects are removed. It is also turned regularly to ensure that it dries evenly and consistently. At midday, the coffee is covered to protect it from the full sun. It is also covered overnight to prevent damage from morning dew. Once the coffee is dry it is rested in parchment until it is ready for export.
About the Coffee
Flavour profile: Spicy Notes like Cardamom, Clove, Rue and citrus-like blueberry, sweet lemon, papaya, Chocolate notes and Long after taste like Lemongrass.
- Category: Curious
- Variety: Indigenous heirloom varieties and selections
- Processing: Natural and Washed
- Body: Medium to Full body
- Acidity: Medium to Medium Pointed or Sharp Pointed
- Raw: has small to medium-sized bean, greenish, and greyish in colour