This exceptional lot was processed, dry milled and exported by our good friends at Testi Coffee, a family-run business owned and managed by the Yonis family, who are making a name for themselves on the Ethiopian Specialty Coffee scene. For many years (see below on the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange – ECX), Mercanta was unable to secure good traceability information on many of our Ethiopian lots. As of 2017, all this changed, and we are very happy to highlight the great work that these valued partners are doing at origin.
The first person in the Yonis family to get seriously involved with coffee was Faysel A. Yonis. Faysel began working with coffee in the late 1990s, but at the time he was purely involved in supplying the local market. As the potential for specialty coffee in the country increased, Faysel saw opportunity. Even though he was still constrained by the ECX, he had a feeling that things would change. Faysel established Testi Coffee in 2009 as a coffee exporting company, set about surrounding himself with exceptional coffee professionals, and hired his nephew, Adham, raised and educated in the USA, to help with outreach and marketing.
Today, Testi owns and/or operates four washing stations in Guji, Yirgacheffe, Sidamo and in Limu – all premier coffee producing regions. This lot was processed using the fully washed method at Tore washing station in Galana, Yirgacheffe, which they operate on behalf of owner, Masreshu Sima. The cherry is delivered to various collection points and is then taken to the washing station, where it is pulped using an Agared disc pulper, fermented for around 12 to18 hours and then fully washed. It is then delivered to dry for between 10 and 12 days on raised beds, where it is dried slowly and regularly raked and sorted to preserve the high natural quality of the coffee. The drying coffee is covered at the hottest part of the day so as to prevent over-drying.
They work with small holder farmers, with the aim of securing the very best prices for their coffee so that they can pay fair prices for the cherry delivered. They have also recently established a 250 hectare farm in the Bench Maji Zone, where they plan to experiment with organic practices. They are currently also building a warehouse in Shakiso where they can process natural coffees locally, in the region where the coffee is grown. This keeps more revenue in the communities where the coffees are produced.