|Chelbessa Danche, Yirgacheffe
Chelbessa Danche station was quite a surprise for us. It is the only station out of so many we have visited that uses tile tanks. Tiles are brought from the USA. It is very clear they take cleanliness very seriously here. Which also reflects very well in your cup - although naturally processed cherries, they give a very clean cup.
Chelbessa station lies at the altitude of 2300masl and no paved road leads to it. So, we had to jump on motorbikes that we got from the neighbouring town and drive straight up the hill over mudy paths covered with coffee trees. This station buys cherries from over 313 farmers. Each of these producers owns a little farm of 1-2ha and grows around 1800-2400 trees. Each htree gives around 3kg of cherries.
Less coffee, higher price
The harvest was very low this year due to very unstable weather. Stations didnt buy many lots as it wouldnt earn much. And that is why coffee price went up about 25 birr. Which is nearly twice the price compared to the last year.
This lot consists of two naturally processed varieties - wolisho and kurume. After picking, coffee cherries are spread on African beds for 15-25 days. After drying they get sorted and packed into bags. These bags are taken down to town on motorbikes where they load them on trucks and take them to the staion in Addis Abeba. In Addis Abeba they peel the seeds and sort them both mechanically and by hand and pack them ready for shipping.