In the heart of the Yirgacheffe Kebele, you will find Halo Beriti. A new washing and drying station managed by Abeyot Ageze. Abeyot is a born and bred Gedeo coffee grower. Generations of Ageze’s made a living by tending the rich Yirgacheffe soil. In Abeyot’s backyard, a small coffee farm, you find enset, potato’s and cereal crops, and of course coffee.
Like most coffee growers in his neighborhood, Abeyot grows Dega, Wolisho varieties, plus two Jimma Agricultural Research Center bred cultivars, 74110 and 74158. His small coffee farm lies next to the washing and drying station. Because besides farming coffee, he is the operational manager at the site.
The Halo Beriti washing and drying station collects cherries from 520 neighboring smallholders. The average grower plots are no larger than a hectare, and they sit at heights ranging between 1900 and 2150 m.a.s.l. On these plots or production gardens, farmers grow avocado, enset, soya beans, and sugar cane besides their coffee trees. Polyculture is the norm in these highlands.
The Halo Beriti is a small site only covering 0.55 hectares of land. The station sits at 2040 m.a.s.l. and after buying the site, Abeyot’s family planted high trees to function as windbreakers. At the start of Halo Beriti’s operation, Abeyot’s family acted as a service partner. Ready to process coffees from other suppliers in the Yirgacheffe area. But now, Abeyot is in service of the local community. Dedicated to only source and process coffee that comes from these smallholders.
At the station, both natural and washed coffees are processed. For washed coffees, Abeyot uses water from the Worka river. Fermentation hours vary between 45 and 65 hours, depending on the weather. The parchment dries for 7 to 10 days. The naturals go straight to the drying beds after arriving at the station and dry between 14 and 21 days.
For the washed Halo Beriti coffee, our cuppers noted down a floral, grape, and bergamot aroma. The profile is filled with notes of florals, vanilla, peach, and lime. The acidity is tart-like and a thin pleasant silky body confirms the Yirgacheffe heritage.