Ayla Natural, Ethiopia - Filter Roast
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ALTITUDE 1950-2,050m above sea level
Ayla is a privately-owned washing station that is located in the Bensa woreda (administrative district) in Ethiopia’s Sidama zone. It is located in the kebele (local village) of Bombe. The washing station is one of twenty owned and managed by Testi Coffee, a family-owned company founded by Mr Faysel A. Yonis. The washing station is named Ayla after one of Mr. Faysel’s nieces.
Sitting at 1,950m above sea level, Ayla produces exceptional washed and natural processed lots using the nearby Bonora river as its main source of fresh water. During harvest, freshly picked coffee cherry is delivered daily by some 700-800 independent outgrowers. The majority of the families who contributed to this lot farm organically on tiny plots of land, which average just 1-2 hectares in size. Coffee is their main cash crop and grows alongside food crops of corn, grain and bananas, under the shade of native Birbira, Wanza, and Acacia trees. The average elevation of the farms in this region is very high – around 1,950–2,150m above sea level – and this, combined region’s cool temperatures, is ideal for the slow ripening of coffee cherries, leading to denser beans and a sweeter, more complex cup profile.
This coffee was processed using the natural method; a complex process requiring a high level of attention to detail in order to be done well. Ethiopian coffee has been processed this way by generations of farmers who have mastered the art of the natural method through centuries of tradition and experience.
Each day, carefully hand-picked coffee cherries are delivered to the wet mill and are meticulously hand-sorted prior to processing to remove unripe, overripe, or damaged fruit, in order to enhance the quality and sweetness of the cup.
The coffee is then graded by weight and spread evenly on raised African beds (screens) to dry in the sun. Initially, it is laid very thinly and turned regularly to ensure consistent drying and prevent over-fermentation. This is done very carefully to avoid damage to the fruit.