The Sakaro washing station has been our source for the most amazing coffee from Yirgacheffe for the past three years. The dedicated producers of the Worka cooperative have been an incredible partnership owing to their land management, growing practices, and efforts towards constant improvements. As a result, their coffees are always standouts even in a region already famous for its quality.
This release is their freshest, most recent harvest. It is delicious, with groves of citrus, ripe berries, and intoxicating florality. As a pour over it is delicate yet complex; or try as an espresso for an intense fruit-bomb.
Representing the birthplace of coffee, the government of Ethiopia has long-since established and protected the various regions (and their distinct flavor profiles) of the country’s coffee-growing areas with well-enforced origin statements. Originally demarcated based on the coffees from the town of Yirgacheffe, the mark has today expanded to match the administrative borders of the town’s zone of Gedeo (in the state of the Southern Nations and Nationalities People’s Region — or SNNPR)
Located 25 miles from Yirgacheffe, Gedeb (a municipality or woreda) is home to the Worka Sakaro washing station. The over 400 Worka cooperative members who deliver their cherry here live just to the east, on the fertile slopes of the mountain Rudu, at elevations in excess of 2000 meters above sea level. They are garden producers, growing on plots of land ranging from just 0.25 to 2 hectares of coffee plants. Coffee production here is relatively new (becoming widespread just in the past 50 years), and coffee grows under the dense canopy of a healthy, biodiverse rainforest. As a result, the conditions of the plants are distinct in the region. Healthy, dense soil lends well to strong, vital trees. Adding to the genetic diversity of the plots are the fruit trees in subsistence cultivation as well as the common local practices of creating organic compost. Due in part to local custom and practice, as well as additional education and resources from Worka Sakaro, producers here are well in tune and actively concerned with the health and balance of their growing lands.
"Heirloom" variety refers to the incredible genetic diversity of coffee found wild and in cultivation throughout Ethiopia. In recent years, great progress has been made in identifying, cataloging, and disseminating the various strains. The Worka Sakaro station maintains a nursery of young plants which it makes available to members looking to expand growing areas and replace older plants. Primarily grown by the membership are Kudhume, Welisho, and Dego varities. Each offer benefits to cup quality, plant health, and productivity, and grown together are even stronger in these areas.
The Worka Sakaro station was founded by Ato ("mister") Mijane Worassa and is today run along with his son, Daniel. The station was his first (he has since built several more in the area) and was built on land inherited from his father. The station is well-equipped for the processing of quality coffee, with a domestically-built depulping machine, clean washing channels and tanks, 360 raised drying beds, and two large warehouses to adequately hold a season's worth of dried coffee. Prior to the most recent changes in Ethiopia's coffee commodity exchange rules, coffee from the station was exported through the larger Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union. Beginning in 2018, they were able to acquire their own export license and maintain the supply chain directly to Trabocca, who imports all Partners Coffee's Ethiopian coffee. This change to a more direct financial model has allowed Worka Sakaro to offer pre-financing to growers, where cash loans are offered in advance of the season to growers and repaid with coffee cherry deliveries.
||Worka Sakaro Washing Station
||411 small-scale farming members of Worka Cooperative
||Blackberry, Lime, and Jasmine
||5° 56’ N
||Gedeb, Gedeo, SNNPR
||November 2018 to February 2019