Nano Challa is a cooperative and washing station, established in 2009. They were the first washing station in Agaro, set up as part of the Technoserve coffee initiative. This lot is part of a small and carefully curated selection from the cooperatives in the west. They are located in Agaro, close to Jimma. The cooperative has about 500 members from the Genji Chala area. This specific area has recently established a reputation for very flavour-intense and spiced coffees with unique flavour attributes. Before these cooperatives were established, the farmers mostly produced lower grade naturals which were sold as Jimma Grade 5.
The Nano Challa washing station was opened with support from Technoserve. This NGO supported farmers to set up the washing stations and create a new cooperative structure. The aim of the project was to increase sustainability and quality in the west, with transparent and environmentally friendly production, and increased premiums for the producers. From the outset they used eco pulpers and built water treatment systems based on Vetiver grass which naturally filter the water from production before it is pumped into lagoons to be absorbed into the earth. They also established farmer training programmes and implemented a traceability system.
They have some hundred members delivering cherry, plus non-members who sell their coffee to this washing station as well. The members receive a second payment after harvest once the coffee has been milled and graded for quality.
The cherries for this lot are selected from smallholders with less than 3 hectares per farm, mostly from farms located around 2000 meters above sea level. They use Penagos ecopulpers, and barely ferment the coffees. After pulping the coffees are often soaked under clean water overnight before they are dried on raised tables.