Drop Coffees - Hunkute, Ethiopia
Flavour description: A delicate aroma of black tea. Hunkute is a well-balanced and delicate cup, with flavours of apricot and Assam tea. It has medium-high citric acidity and a finish reminding of Chardonnay wine with hints of white flowers. The body is light and tea-like.
Colour: Mild yellow
Producers: Hunkute. The cooperative has 2149 members.
Varietal: 74110 and 74112
Washing station: Hunkute Site 2
Location: Dalle, Sidamo
Union: Sidama Union
Harvested: November 2021 - January 2022
Altitude: 2150 masl
Years of relationship: 11 years, since 2011.
Price transparency: We have paid US$3.70/lb FOB
Process: Fully washed.
The coffee needs to be mainly mature red to be considered as "Grade One". Cherries are hand sorted for unripe and overripe cherries by the farmers before they go into production. First, the coffee is de-pulped, meaning that the skin and pulp are removed from the beans by a machine. Then the beans are being fermented underwater for 72 hours. After that, the coffee is separated by density in water channels and rinsed with clean water. Before the water is going back to nature, the water is neutralized by filters to not harm nature. The coffee cherries are dried on 20-25 days on raised beds until it reads a moister level of 11 to 11.5%.
Roast Style: We are roasting this coffee for vibrancy and clarity in the cup, with a light to medium roast profile.
Hunkute is a very special coffee to us at Drop; we have been buying Hunkute for over 11 years straight. It is an important profile in our portfolio and our history; the coffee is delicate and pretty like no other. Hunkute is the direct opposite to loud and bold still so many of our Drop Coffee drinkers hold this as one of their favorites. And so do we.
Hunkute is located in the Dalle region in Sidamo and is made up of two washing stations where the coffee is being processed. This coffee is from Hunkute Site 2 located at 2150 masl. The members of the cooperative, delivering coffee to Hunkute washing station during harvest, are small-scale farmers with 0,5-5 hectares, from the surrounding area.
This coffee is certified organic.
Ethiopia and Yemen are the birthplaces of coffee. In Ethiopia there are over 1.1 million smallholder coffee farmers, delivering cherries to local washing stations. In the region where coffee is growing, most people dry, roast and brew their coffee themselves. As a country, Ethiopia is consuming over 40% of what they are producing themselves, compared to Kenya where they keep less than 5% of all the coffee produced in the country.
Hunkute is two washing stations (Site 1 and Site 2) both belong to the Hunkute Cooperative, which is made up of 2149 members, the Hunkute Cooperative is connected to the Sidama Union.
Hunkute site 2, started eight years ago, is collecting cherries from both the members of the cooperative and surrounding farmers who want to deliver their cherries to the washing station. Most farmers delivering to Hunkute site 2 have about half a hectare to five hectares with an average of 1500 trees per hectare. One tree in Ethiopia is typically producing cherries equal to less than 100 - 200 grams of green coffee, bear in mind when you buy the 250g box from us. Throughout the year, organic fertilizer is common at the farms.
During the harvest period, from November to January, the farmers are collecting their coffee cherries every third week. The farmers in the area around Hunkute are helping each other with the harvest, circulating with the neighboring farms. Many of the farmers are also working at the washing stations during harvest. A few farmers that have bigger farms are hiring local staff during the harvest.
Hunkute cooperative belongs to Sidamo Union, which now has its own dry mill where the coffee is milled and graded before putting into protective bags and loaded on the containers.
Sustainability aspect - Payment and agriculture at Hunkute
Since Sidama is such a mecca in coffee the market is competitive for the cooperatives in the region. This is one of the reasons Hunkute is paying the farmers upfront daily during harvest (November-January) unless the farmer prefers to be paid differently. All of the volumes and coffee cherry prices are displayed. They also have a second payment based on the selling price which is being paid to the farmers very latest by August, which is a great difference compared to how late we've seen some farmers being paid when visiting different cooperatives in Ethiopia. In the Sidama Union, about 70% of the payment is going back to the farmers and the rest are for investments at the washing stations and the cooperative.
We have paid a US$3.70/lb FOB for this coffee.
Hunkute, and Drop Coffee, are fully organic certified. Being certified Organic and with UTZ and Fair Trade, helps the washing station to keep documents and reports of payments and data logging of the production.