The long journey of coffee has come to an end. It has been several months of arduous effort in which thousands of hands have worked together for a single goal, the production of coffee of the highest possible quality. Although the logistical situation has improved compared to last year, the departure from Ethiopia to Djibouti is chaotic and slow, which risks affecting the quality of the coffee and its moisture content.
Ethiopia, the world's second largest producer of "arabica only" after Colombia, has only one harvest per year and in a very limited period of time. Producing so much coffee in such a short time is a major challenge, especially when there are deficiencies in such important aspects as infrastructure, capital flows, inflation, climate change and the lack of organisation so characteristic of Africa, but particularly present in Ethiopia.
Potato defect, quakers, coffee berry disease, immature cherries, anthracnose, etc. All these are potential threats to your wonderful Rwanda, Burundi or Congo cup of coffee.
But how can we get rid of them? Or cut to a minimum the chances of getting a bad bean into so much goodness?
Some cooperatives in Rwanda are adopting this unique practice of hand-sorting wet parchment after being washed and fermented.
Some defective beans can be visually detected more easily when the parchment is slightly transparent with moisture. It is another opportunity to eliminate immature green beans, floaters, quakers, beans with anthracnose and insect-damaged (Antestia Bug) coffee that can result in the awful "potato taste defect".
Also, the slow introduction of air before the sun in the drying process, helps to keep the parchment intact and without cracks. If we think that the parchment is a small protective layer that reduce the shock of too much heat in the bean, this initial drying phase in raised beds and under shade, promotes that these internal molecular changes happen slowly and progressively.