Apricot & Jasmine
Harvest: December 2018
Producer: Hunkute Cooperative
Region: Dalle, Sidamo
Altitude: 2,000 masl
Arrival: May 2019
The producing region of Sidamo is one of the most recognisable names in coffee and the Hunkute Cooperative is famous for producing coffees that are intensely aromatic, delicate and floral. For us, the quality produced by this cooperative is consistently among the very best in Ethiopia and we go out of our way to drink these coffees every year. Unsurprisingly, coffees from Hunkute are in very high demand, and having missed out on last years crop, we were even more determined to get our hands on some this time round. With a little extra legwork, we’ve secured three sacks of what already promises to be one of our favourites this year!
The Hunkute Cooperative is made up of 2,149 smallholder farmers who deliver their cherries to one of the two washing stations in the area. Both stations are under the same management, and coffee from both sites is marketed as Hunkute. The first site was established in 1997 and is situated at 1,850 masl and the second site was built in 2010 at 2,150 masl. This particular lot is exclusively from the higher altitude farms surrounding site 2 and of all the lots we tasted, we found this one to be the most vibrant and sweet.
Harvesting begins in November and ends in January and although most coffee in Ethiopia is organic by default, this coffee is certified. Most farmers delivering to the station will tend to 1-2 hectares of land with an average of 1,500 trees per hectare. The coffee here is referred to collectively as Ethiopian Heirloom which is a mix of indiginous varieties, including a cultivar known locally as Sendancho. This coffee is fully washed and has been processed traditionally using an Agaarde discpulper, removing the skin and fruit pulp before it is fermented underwater, washed and graded in channels. Coffees are dried on raised beds which is done over a longer period at site 2 due to the cooler temperatures at higher altitudes. Slow, even drying can not only benefit quality in the short term, but also how long a coffee will retain good flavour when stored in its raw state.
If you’re a fan of filter coffee and haven’t tried anything from Hunkute before, we would urge you to give this a go. This coffee is delicate, sweet and superbly balanced with distinct notes of apricot and jasmine. Having almost drank an entire 8kg test batch between us, its safe to say we’ve been absolutely loving this coffee and we think you will too!