*Unwashed* in this case doesn’t mean “dirty”, it means that after the coffee cherries were picked they were cleaned, then left to dry in the sun. During this process (which can take up to 4 weeks) the cherries are raked by hand to prevent mildew from growing, and to encourage even drying. The dried cherries are stored in bulk until they are sent off to the mill for hulling (removing of the fruit), sorting, grading, and bagging.
Fast Facts on Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (SCFCU)
Founded in 2001
Members: 87,000 farmers as of 2008
45 cooperatives; 30 FLO certified
Regions: Sidama (southwest Ethiopia)
Cooperative Coffees has been importing unwashed green coffee directly from the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (SCFCU) since 2009. Nearly all their coffee (approximately 5,000 tons/year) is grown in the shade of diverse, indigenous trees, and 95% of this is washed.
Our Ethiopian Sidama label features a painting by Heather called “Ibex Waiting to Jump”. These two ibex are the buddies of the Walia Ibex featured on our Ethiopia Yirgacheffe label. They’re waiting for him atop Whiskey Rock, a local landmark that is a destination each summer for boaters and adventurers. It appears they’re trying to work up the nerve to jump off for a dip.
The endangered Walia Ibex live in small herds in the northern mountains of Ethiopia. They live in very steep, rocky cliff areas (2500 – 4500 m high) in a habitat of mountain forest, sub-alpine grasslands, and scrub where they graze on various plants. Major threats to this subspecies of the Alpine Ibex are habitat loss and hunting, with encroaching settlement, livestock grazing, and cultivation also adding to the population`s demise. The small herds travel up to 2 km per day, usually not by boat.