Nano Challa Cooperative hails from Agaro, Jimma in Western Ethiopia. Until the last decade, this area produced primarily low-grade, dry-processed coffee. Traditionally, Agaro has been known for world-class honey that is clean, floral, and tastes like jasmine, white tea, and citrus (sound familiar?). Their coffee, however, was being traded as a commodity. In 2010, Nano Challa was among the first cooperatives in the area to install a washing station and begin preparing washed coffee. With a little support and training, they began producing some of the finest washed coffees in the world.
Today, Nano Challa has built a reputation for exquisite quality. Upon visiting the cooperative we were stunned by the amount of detail they placed into producing clean coffee. The cooperative is made up of about 400 members who each harvest heirloom varieties that have been growing for generations in the forest surrounding the washing station. At the washing station, the coffee is pulped and washed using a Penagos, a machine that is commonly seen across Latin America and known for using minimal water to pulp and wash coffee. Following the wash, the coffee is then soaked overnight. It then goes through the drying process, where the coffee is carefully moved throughout the day and dried very slowly. The members at Nano sort through the parchment thoroughly during the process, picking out the unwanted seeds, winnowing the chaff, and reserving only the parchment that is perfectly clean. The resulting Nano Challa is a soft, gentle, floral cup of coffee with flavor notes reminiscent of the area’s prized honey, jasmine, white tea, and citrus.