Upon entering Mersha Assefa’s Chelelektu mill, we were met with beautiful Ethiopian melodies echoing from a group of women working through the meticulous cherry sorting process. An enthusiasm and abiding vigor emanated from the group and was a clear indicator of an overarching mentality present in the facility. We even considered starting a choir club here at Verve, until we realized none of us could sing let alone in Amharic. In all seriousness, Chelelektu displays an immaculate wet-mill processing facility and active workforce that has produced one of our favorite Ethiopians of the year. This year’s cup holds balanced floral aromas and a stone fruit sweetness that speaks to the region's unique complexity.
Various Small Producers
1850 - 1950 Meters
November - January
Lily, Spiced Plum, Intricate
Whilst touring around seven of Kochere’s famous wet mills, we were blown-away by the positive energy and organization that seemed to emanate from Mersha Assefa’s Chelelektu washing station. From the immaculately clean, concrete fermentation tanks and washing channels; to the meticulous cherry sorting being carried out by a jovial workforce chanting Ethiopian choruses; it was immediately clear that this was a special washing station and furthermore without surprise that it would be among our favorite Ethiopians of the harvest.
One of several Chelelektu kebele (small community) washing stations, Mersha Assefa’s privately-owned Chelelektu mill receives ripe coffee cherries from around 650 neighboring small-holder farmers who farm heirloom varieties at altitudes as great at 1950 MASL. In the typical Southern Ethiopian fashion, cherries are disk-pulped before being soaked overnight, channel-washed and laid to dry on raised beds.
We believe the coffee experience is our responsibility from seed to cup. Coffee is our craft, our ritual, our passion. It drives us and inspires us. With this simple truth and responsibility we are bridging the gap from farmlevel to streetlevel. We are verve. Made in santa cruz.