Duromina – Ethiopia


Co-Operative : Duromina
Owners/Farmers : Over 270 smallholders
Variety : Ethiopian Heirloom
Process : Washed
Region : Jimma, Oromia Region
Altitude (masl) : 1900-2100
Harvest Method : Handpicking

Duromina co-operation sits in a remote neighbourhood of Boto in Jimma region, south-western Ethiopia. Today it has more than 270 smallholders. The farmers cultivate Ethiopian heirloom coffee trees in small homesteads under the shade of indigenous Acacia trees. No agrochemicals are used for the farming, making the coffee completely natural.

The farmers of Duromina Co-operative place high value on developing their co-op, sustainability and helping others. Farmers are very willing to pass on their knowledge and educate other farmers on the methods they have found useful.

Duromina recently bought a new demucilager, the first of its kind in Ethiopia. It uses up to 75% less water thus creating significantly smaller ecological footprint. After depulping the coffee cherries , coffee is soaked overnight and clean parchment is dried in the sun for 7-10 days. Duromina built a second washing station and expanded their cherry collection sites in 2013. In 2016 they added a third washing station with an even lower water impact. They divert the water used at their washing stations through a filtering area before it returns to the rive. Left over pulp from the processing of the coffee cherries is mixed with soil to be used as a fertiliser.

TechnoServe’s CoffeeInitiative and Duromina

Duromina, like many other co-ops in Ethiopia got their start with TechnoServe’s CoffeeInitiative in 2010. TechnoServe is an  international nonprofit that promotes business solutions to poverty in the developing world by linking people to information, capital and markets. With the help of a substantial financing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation the organisation launched their most ambitious program CoffeeInitiative with a goal to increase the incomes of 182,000 smallholder coffee farmers in East Africa.

TechnoServe’s Coffee initiative changed all of this by creating financial and technological possibilities for communities better the coffee quality and thus increase their income. With the technical support, business advice and finance from TechnoServe the original 113 founding farmers acquired and installed a wet mill and began processing fully washed coffee for the first time. As a result their coffee quality jumped to new levels and an international panel of professional judges picked the co-op’s coffee as “the best in Africa” only two years later.

Followed by the vast growth in the quality and recognition of their coffees, farmers were able to get a 65% premium over the international commodity price. This in return made it possible for the co-op to pay back their initial loan in just one year.

Improving their lives

Duromina means “improve their lives” in Afan Oromo language and this is exactly what this co-op has done. And not only to the original 113 farmers involved but for heir whole community. They have also used the increased income in bettering the lives of their whole community. For example they have built a bridge to keep their remote village connected to neighbouring markets and clinics even during the rainy season and flooding rivers. The village has also renewed their roofs, solar power and primary school all the way through eighth grade. Families are also able to send their children to secondary school in nearby Agaro and even to universities. There’s also plans to connect their village to the electrical grid in the near future.

As a result TechnoServe is regarding Duromina as an outstanding success story of rapidly growing business receiving exceptionally high returns from US Market.

Munyinya Hill – Burundi

Photo by : Long Miles Coffee Project, Burundi

Ripe plum, bergamot, raspberry

Farmer : Multiple small farms
Producer : Long Miles Coffee Project
Washing Station : Bukeye
Variety : Red Bourbon

Process : Washed
Region : Kayanza
Altitude (masl) : 1830m
Harvest Method : Handpicking

Munyinya Hill comes from Long Miles Coffee Project as all our coffees from Burundi. LMCP is a remarkable farmer focused initiative by a small American family who are truly a source of inspiration and an example where perseverance,  hard work, risk taking and having love towards people can take you.

Kristy and Ben Carlson started out with a dream to facilitate direct relationships between roasters and farmers, and as a result better the quality of coffee and the lives of the farmers. We are very proud to be apart of this coffee community and grateful for the Carlson family for making it happen. Their project enables us to work as directly with Burundian coffee farmers as possible.

Bukeye is LMCP’s first coffee processing station and it’s located in the northern parts of Kayanza province. The quality standards are high on both of their processing stations. This has helped them to minimize a lot of defects and to ensure clean and well-balanced cup notes. One of their most successful implementations has been in forming ‘coffee scout teams‘ that travel from village to village to teach farmers about best agricultural practices and how to manage the potato defect by picking, by hand, antestia bugs that infect coffee cherries. They also have a ‘six hour pick-to-process quality timing mark‘ which means that coffee cherries arriving to the station get straight into processing.

Washed coffee

In washed processing, also known as the wet process, the coffee cherries are first pulped as they arrive to the washing station to remove the outer layer of skin. After this the beans ferment in water with the mucilage still attached for at least a couple of days. And finally they are washed in order to remove the mucilage. Generally washed coffees result in cleaner more refined cups in comparison to natural or honey processed coffees.

Read more about the Long Miles Coffee Project on their website!

Fazenda Sertão – Brazil


Farm : Fazenda Sertão
Variety : Yellow Bourbon
Process : Natural
Region : Carmo de Minas
Altitude (masl) : ~1250m

Fazenda Sertão is a family company with more than 100 years of history in production of high quality coffee. These days the company is run by four siblings ; Francisco, Luiz Paulo, Glycia and Sandra together with their spouses.

The farm is located in Carmo de Minas region. An area well known for its mineral water springs, perfect combination of latitude and altitude, mountainous terrain, well-defined seasons and fertile soil. All this have resulted in an expansion of the company’s coffee program. The Sertão Group is constantly developing infrastructure to product a wide variety of high quality arabica coffee.

The core of the Sertão Group’s permanent team consists of around 140 families that reside on-site throughout the year. For these families Sertão Group provides free good-quality housing, running water, electricity as well as milk, fruits and coffee. They also have an on-site primary and secondary schools with fully qualified teachers, on-site medical and dental care, football fields and fishing ponds.

Sertão Group takes special care trying to ensure environmentally sustainable practice. They have programs to preserve springs and water sources, wildlife, forest and other vegetation as well as take care of the soil.

Natural Processing

Natural Processing or dry process, means that the coffee cherry dries as a whole with the fruit flesh and skin still attached. With the flesh and mucilage of the cherry still intact to the bean. This kind of method is the original way of processing coffee beans and has it’s backgrounds in Ethiopia. It may take up to 4 weeks before the cherries reach their desired moisture content. After this the now leather like flesh of the cherry is hulled off the beans before they are ready to be sorted.

Natural processing often enhances the sweet, ripe fruit flavours of coffee. It is also the most eco-friendly way of processing because it requires the least amount of water. If not monitored properly this method has a potential to create defects and unwanted flavours. But when done correctly the results can be quite remarkable.