Sidamo, Chuchu Washing Station

Pride of Sidama

By: Chris Davidson

Located just 6 km south of the town of Dilla in Sidama Zone, Chuchu washing station has produced some of Sidamo’s finest coffees for decades.  Relatively small compared to other Sidamo wet mills, Chuchu receives cherry from approximately 600 farmers each year, producing just over two full containers of coffee both washed and natural process.  All though Chuchu is located in Sidama Zone, many of the farmers delivering coffees to the washing station are located in the Southern Nation Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) zone, very close to Yirgacheffe.  For this reason, like many things in coffee, labeling coffee from Chuchu as “Sidamo” or “Yirgacheffe” can be a little tricky.  Even the name “Chuchu” is seen spelled both “Chuchu” and “Chichu,” depending on who is writing it!

Atlas’ first visit to Chuchu was in November 2015, and we were immediately impressed by the cleanliness and organization of the washing station’s facilities.  Skin drying tables are used extensively post-washing to remove superficial moisture from the parchment and improve the uniformity of the drying.  Workers sort the parchment coffee three different times during the drying process, once on the skin drying tables and twice while turning the coffee on the large beds.

Washed coffee from Chuchu washing station delivers an incredible combo of mandarin orange, lime and citrus flavors with an effervescent acidity that leaves a tingle on the tongue.  Jasmine and rose aromatics round out the focused fruit character for a complexity that we rarely see in even the best Ethiopia coffees.

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