Located far in the West of Ethiopia in an area known as Limu Kossa, where farmer and landowner Gidey Berthe grows coffee on a 350 hectare farm at between 1840-2130 masl. The farm is meticulously maintained, from the trees to the signs dividing the lot sections. The land was once wild forest and has been thinned slightly to accommodate the coffee, but the feeling of quiet solitude pervades amongst the native trees.
The coffee is picked by 400 seasonal workers employed during harvest season. At the farm's collection station, green cherries are sorted out before their bags are weighed for payment. The green cherries are dried as naturals and sold to the local market.
The mill processes around 20,000kg of cherry per day during the peak of the season. The natural process coffee is dried for 24 hours under cover before being placed in the full sun for a further 7-10 days.
We are often asked about how is the caffeine removed from coffee, here is a simplified step by step process of the method that we use. It is a much more environmentally friendly method than some of the other methods that are used.
1. The green beans are soaked / cleaned in water, this allows the pores to open up as the beans expand and the caffeine to become mobile.
2. Pressured Carbon Dioxide is introduced, this combined with the present water creates sparkling water. The CO2 acts like a magnet to the caffeine molecules, extracting it from the beans.
3. The water is then drained into an evaporator which precipitates the caffeine rich carbon dioxide out of the water
4. This cycle is repeated until the caffeine level is low enough to be classified as decaf
5. The decaffeinated coffee is then gently dried until it reaches its original moisture content and is then ready for roasting.