The story behind the coffee
The Duguna Washing Station, situated along the Hamamo River in the village of Tanratu, in Sidamo’s Eastern Chiri Belo District. The washing station supports both their own 5-hectare farm, as well as 165 other local farmers with altitudes between 1,850 and 2,000 meters above sea level.
Ethiopia is the origin of all coffee, and as such grows wild in the coffee growing regions there. Unlike in other coffee growing countries, which have one, or very few, coffee varieties on a farm, in Ethiopia it is far more varied. Therefore, most coffee labels say “heirloom varieties.” Ethiopian coffee farms are generally extremely small, the vast majority being less than 3.5 hectares, and thus do not produce huge quantities of coffee. So, they band together into cooperatives or other groups and operate washing stations like this one.
The Duguna Washing Station employs 232 people, of which 175 are women. Here the coffee is pulped and washed, where it sits submerged overnight to ferment. It is then dried on raised beds, being turned every few hours for several days.