Gedeb, Wuri Washing Station

Worka-Sakaro

By: Chris Davidson

Gedeb district is home to thousands of coffee farming families producing some of the most incredible coffees in the world. Located just south of Yirgacheffe, in the same zone of Gedeo, the Gedeb area is quickly developing its own reputation for stellar quality. Sixteen kebeles (villages) make up the Gedeb district, one of which is called “Worka-Sakaro.” The name “Worka” is very well known in the world of specialty coffee, but less well-known is that several coffee washing stations operate in and around Worka-Sakaro kebele.

In the Gedio language the word “Worka” means “gold,” a name associated with the friendly-natured inhabitants of the area since the days of King Haile Selassie. There is also a large native tree found arond Gedeb that the locals call “Sakaro,” hence the name of the kebele “Worka-Sakaro.” Of the 1,276 hectares encompassed by Worka-Sakaro around 679 are planted with coffee, demonstrating what a critical component our favorite beverage is to the farmers’ culture and economy.  “Wuri” is another Gedio word meaning “high altitude,” which Worka-Sakaro has certainly earned with some farming areas topping out over 2,100 masl.

In 2017 the Ethiopian government relaxed export regulations allowing private washing stations to export their coffees directly and with traceability. Ranger Industry & Trading, PLC has been working actively in the region for years, assisting farmers with productivity and quality and carefully processing their harvest for delivery to the ECX. It’s truly wonderful that these coffees can now be exported directly to buyers like Atlas with full traceability to the washing stations and farmers.

The sorting and drying processes at Wuri are precise and laborious, with washed coffees drying in 12-15 days and Naturals drying in 18-21 days. The Naturals are covered during the heat of the day to ensure a gentle and consistent drying, and turned constantly on the beds during daylight hours. The botanical and tropical complexity of both the washed and natural-processed Wuri coffees put them on a level above the majority of the offers we receive from this area each year. A medley of ripe, dark berries and cherries combine with guava, ginger and grapefruit for a profile unlike anything else we offer. Rose, jasmine and honeydew are highlights of the washed coffees, while the Naturals resonate with deep, jammy blackberry and dark plum.

 

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