Wolichu Wachu is a washing station located in the Guji growing region of Oromia. It is part of the Harso Haru Mude Farmer Cooperative. Wolichu Wachu is a new washing station that started its activities in 2017. The advantage of being recently built is that its construction could integrate all new insights into coffee processing. Its layout enables optimal efficiency during processing and drying. The intake point lies at the top of a gentle hill. The pulping machine, fermentation tanks and washing channel lie a bit lower. This way, gravity carries the coffee through the process, without a need for pumps like with older washing stations. The spacious and well-organized drying field lies at the bottom of the station.
Wolichu Wachu is equipped with sorting tables and floating tanks to monitor the cherry quality at intake. The collection agent oversees the quality of the cherries before processing. For the natural coffees, they dump the cherries in a flotation tank first to clean off any dirt. Only the cherries that sink are accepted for the high qualities. Floaters are kept aside for separate processing for lower grades. After cleaning, the workers carry the cherries straight to the drying field. They spread the cherries in a single layer and stir them twice an hour. During this phase, it is easy to pick out any damaged cherries that made it through the initial selection. After a few days, they increase the thickness of the layer to slow down the drying a little. Total drying time can take up to three weeks under cloudy conditions, or two weeks with many sunny days.
For more info about coffee in Ethiopia, visit our Ethiopia origin page.