Subscribe & Save 10% | Carbon-neutral free shipping on orders over $55 within Canada

Ethiopia Worka

Ethiopia Worka

Regular price
Sale price

Ethiopia Worka by Smallholder Farmers

Tastes: Peach, floral, anise
Variety: Indigenous Heirloom
Region: Gedeo (Yirgacheffe)
Process: Washed & dried on raised beds
Altitude: 1800-2200 m
Importer: Royal Coffee

Worka Cooperative was established in 2006, only a few years after the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (YCFCU) itself was founded. The cooperative began with 210 member farmers; today there are over 1,400 farmers spanning 2,500 hectares of coffee production—just under 2 hectares apiece on average, although occasionally farms can be 10 hectares or more. These are quintessential Gedeo family farms: small and forested, whose production is often divided between spacious, lofty coffee trees, other fruits or legumes, and enset, a fruitless cousin of the banana plant whose pulp is packed into cakes, fermented underground, and then toasted as a staple starch. This common pair of crops satisfies unique and separate needs: coffee for economic livelihood; and enset for nutrition.

Washed coffee is produced very straightforwardly at the coop. Cherry is picked daily during harvest and delivered to the coop by individual farmers. All cherry is sorted on arrival for imperfections and uniformripeness. Coffee is depulped and fermented overnight in open tanks, and then washed clean and soaked in fresh water before being transferred to the raised drying tables. The parchment coffee dries in the sun for an average of 2 weeks, after which it is brought into the local warehouse for storage, prior to being transported to Addis Ababa for final dry milling and export.

In the past, the Worka cooperative encapsulated a large share of this area’s farmers. In recent years, newer cooperatives have been established in more specific communities here, but Worka remains the largest and most influential of the local union cooperatives.