Ethiopia is regarded by many as the birthplace of coffee. It has been cultivated there since the 1500s, in much the same way it is grown today. Most coffee grows wild in the shade of other trees and is referred to as forest grown coffee. Other coffees grow in gardens along with other crops, with minimal agricultural intervention. Some is a bit of a combination, where producers lightly cultivate and weed their forest crop in order to ease harvesting. In any case, most smallholders produce an average of only 5 bags per year.
Limu lies in the western highlands of Oromia, Ethiopia. This region is known for its abundant water supply as well as its forests (adjacent to those pointed towards as the birthplace of Arabica coffee). Most coffee in Limu is semi-forest grown on less than one hectare. Here, hummus-rich soils are constantly renewed by the continual fall and decomposition of organic matter.
Traditionally coffee in Limu was dried in the fruit and stored by producers in their homes until taken to a dry mill for exchange. It is only with the recent development of collective wet mills in the region that washed Limu coffee has emerged. The availability of water here in particular enables the washed process. This process, coupled with the genetic diversity of heirloom coffee varieties, yields the characteristic flavor profile. Like the coffee from other Southern regions such as Yirgacheffe and Sidamo, Limu is known for citric acidity and floral notes.
Meselech Alemu Dry Mill
Ethiopia Limu G2 comes to us from the Meselech Alemu dry milling station. Ripe cherry is selectively picked by hand and collected by 300 smallholder farmers. Subsequently, the cherry is floated to separate only the ripe fruit. Next, the cherry is machine pulped, and washed. Finally, the coffee is sun dried 7-10 days on traditional raised beds where it is turned regularly to ensure even drying.
Flavor notes: Vanilla, lilac, green tea; delicate acidity, tea-like body.