Keramo is a kebele (area) in Sidama zone that stands out with its unique flavor profiles such as concentrated botanical flavors and distinct floral notes. After their first year working in Keramo (2014-2015) Catalyst Trade recognized this distinction and decided to separate Keramo lots from other Sidama lots. They have been sourcing from the smallholders in Keramo in partnership with Hayissa Olocho, and last year they released a single farm offer from Mate Mateyos’ newly founded farm near Sodo seifir (village) in Keramo. Mateyos recently joined the group of 30+ farmers who Catalyst Trade directly source from in the wider Bensa, Sidama region. The farm is 11 hectares which produced 50 bags (132 lbs each) last harvest season. We booked their dry process (natural) lot. Cherry-picking is particularly critical for this processing method. The pickers on the farm circle back every week to make sure every cherry is picked at its ripest. Freshly picked day lots are sorted by density to distinguish the grade and pick out the underripe cherries. Then cherries are spread out on raised beds to evenly dry. As most of the cherries have different levels of sugar and moisture content, the drying process requires diligence and a high level of know-how. Once the cherries are nice and dry, they are milled and stored at the dry mill before being exported.
Dry-process coffees tend to offer more fruit notes and have more sweetness. Mateyos’ dry process lot goes beyond this tendency. We taste floral and earthy tropical fruits like papaya with medium acidity as well as complex botanical/herbal notes that remind us of gin botanicals such as citrus peel and coriander.