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Drop Sharo, Natural

Drop Sharo, Natural

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ETHIOPIA

Flavour profile: This coffee has a berry-like aroma and flavour notes of blackberry jam, raisin and strawberry ice cream. It has a medium citric acidity and lots of sweetness to back it up. The finish is long and bright. 

Colour: Plum purple
Category: Adventurous
Producer: Israel Degfa, of the company Kerchanse
Varietal: 74120 & 11714
Harvested: January 2023
Processing: Natural

Region: Guji, Ethiopia
Elevation: 2100 meters above sea level

Weight: 250gr

Roast Date: 29 April 2024

This is the boldest and most mature coffee we have from Sidamo. It is produced by our long time friend Israel Degfa, who we this year also buy Ana Sora from. Ethiopia is one of our favourite origins. Its’ taste profile and culture are both diverse and interesting. The Arabica coffee plant was first found growing wild in Ethiopia and Yemen, and then Ethiopia became the motherland of coffee.  About 6,6 million bags are produced in the country every year, of which almost half is kept in the country for local consumption. 

This coffee was produced in the Woreda of Kercha, in the Guji region, on the border of the Dawa River. Historically, farmers in this area were debilitated by the lack of access to the market, with the majority of the zone being a full day’s drive from the nearest trading centres. Additionally, because of the challenging geography of this region, coffee cherries were often ruined in transit or commodified and blended into lower grades.

Realising the opportunity to make a positive impact, Israel Degfa established the Kercha processing site in 2016 and has focused on producing high-quality coffees ever since. During the harvest season, the Kercha Dry Mill has 150 raised beds and around 165 of staff members. The contributing farmers are all registered and a part of the Kerchanshe support network set up by Israel Degfa. This network helps smallholders and their families with access to healthcare, education, and agricultural support.

We are super proud to work with Israel and the people of Kerchanshe who are not only pioneers in the Ethiopian market, but also a good friends to both Steve and Joanna. Our relationship goes back nearly ten years, and we hope for many more to come. 

Natural coffee from Ethiopia is deliciously funky and fruity! Letting the coffee dry in its cherry is the traditional way of processing coffee for personal consumption as well as for commodity coffee in Ethiopia. It is a sensitive process that can give the coffee a fermented taste profile, unless it is done carefully. The natural process suits the floral yet citric profile of Ethiopian coffee very well and keeps more body in an already vibrant cup as well as some extra sweetness from the natural processing.

Israel is one of the warmest people we know and is also very successful in the business. He was born near Sidamo, Yirgalem, and his parents were both in coffee in different ways. His mum sold coffee at the bus station and his dad was a farmer. This is where he found his love for coffee. He went to primary school in Yiralem and went to high school and college in Addis Abeba. 

In 2013 Israel founded the company by Kerchanshe trading company that is named after the nearest town, Kerchanste town (fondly referred to as Kercha). Today he has 26 washing stations and a few dry-mills; the guy is 38 years-old and has only had the business for 11 years, talk about impressive! Israel also travels to other coffee origins, such as Brazil, where he has been inspired in ways to improve coffee processing. Isreal is always investing in better systems and putting better protocols in place at his washing stations. 

Israel visited us at Drop the first year we worked together, in 2015. Since then we have been visiting each other every year. Obviously, Drop Coffee is a tiny buyer of coffee being processed at all of Israel's 26 washing stations, but coffee buying is about relationships, shared quality goals, and trust -- on that, we see eye to eye. Israel is continuously elevating the standards of coffee, making Ethiopia one of our absolute favourite origins. 

Most of the coffee being delivered to Kercha is organically produced. Local farmers deliver their freshly picked coffee cherries to the washing station. On the days they are not delivering coffee, many of them work at the washing station. Last year the total percentage of production that was specialty coffee by Kerchance has almost doubled, specialty coffee is close to 10% of all coffee produced.

Higher quality means more money for the farmers delivering to the washing stations.  We want to support Israel Degfa's work on sustainability and goal to get farmers out of poverty through coffee. An entire 10% of Kershanse's profit goes into a non-profit sustainability company, that invests in schools within the local communities. 

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