Natural-process microlots of coffee always have a unique taste profile. This particular microlot tastes similar to fully washed coffee but is bursting with sweetness and a citrus-oriented flavour. The natural process produces yellow fruits and sweetness that give the impression of sweet lemon custard and lemon poppy seed cake flavour. The vanilla sweetness is slightly more overt at this point, adding flavour balance to the citrus cup flavour. It's pleasant and delicious to taste strawberry puree. Ethiopian natural coffee is the only coffee with this organic process.
This lot comes from the Gerba washing station. It was produced by 220 small farmers, and was planted under native trees. Thin layers of coffee cherries are spread out and dried on raised beds for roughly 15–21 days, depending on the weather. The coffee cherries are continuously turned throughout the day to ensure even drying during this period. All cherries that are still green are sorted out during the initial drying process. This has been the traditional way of processing for many years in Ethiopia.
Shonora was established 30 years ago by Mr. Shonora Gata, with a wet coffee processing station in Sakicha and a farm near the town of Gerba. Gata's two sons, Adugna and Morkata, took over the station three years ago and have since been in charge of overseeing numerous changes and improvements, including station expansion and equipment modernization. Currently, the station processes coffee cherries from up to 150 local farmers who operate farms between 2,100 and 2,300 metres above sea level, ranging in size from 0.5-8 hectares.
Over the past few years, the producers in this region have encountered a number of difficulties, including rising labour costs that make the conventional method of cherry harvesting more expensive and a lack of fixed cherry prices that makes transportation and forward planning challenging. Shonora has dealt with these issues by making improvements to the transportation system and by giving larger farms interest-free advance payments to help with harvest expenses. Farmers who provide the best cherries to the station are rewarded annually by Shonora, providing motivation for them to improve their connections. The names of the producers are on the lot.