Cocoa butter, jasmine, apple molasses
This co-op, which is now 350 farmers and growing, has a tremendous mix of languages, tribes, cultures and religions. Last time we were there, the members of the Ethiopian Orthodox church were fasting, but were more than happy to hang out for a feast with the rest of the crew. As our relationship grows, more and more farmers are joining and coming together — and the outcome is beautiful.
Large tracts of pristine forests shade tall, spindly wild coffee trees. This is where coffee was born, and this is where it is meant to grow. The forest systems there almost produce coffee on their own — which means that it’s more a matter of collecting rather than growing coffee. The members of the cooperative don’t have to fertilize, they don’t have to water, they don’t have to prune — the coffee wants to grow. All they need to do is look after it.
Nano Challa does something we wish all coffee producers would do. When it’s time to dry the coffee, rather than just sticking it out in the sun (fast and easy), they take the time to slowly dry the beans in the shade. It’s a more gentle way of treating the coffee that strengthens and heightens the flavors. It’s a time consuming process — it takes days, with dozens of people carefully turning and sorting the beans — but it’s worth it for what is some of the most delicious Ethiopian coffee available in the world.