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By Everyday Coffee Roasters

Halo Hartume is a community near Gedeb and Kochere, two coffee-famous districts in Ethiopia’s coveted Gedeo Zone. Gedeo, named after the Gedeo people indigenous to the area, is a narrow section of highland plateau dense with savvy farmers and fiercely competitive processors whose coffee is known the world over as “Yirgacheffe” after the zone’s most famous district and central town.

For decades, Yirgacheffe has been considered a benchmark for beauty and complexity in arabica coffee, known for being jasmine-like when thoroughly washed and punchy and sweet when sundried.

This coffee from a family-run independent washing station in Halo Hartume is no exception. It’s big and sweet, with layers of grapefruit and lavender-like floral tones. For its first few years, the station sold coffee the way most producers in the area did: through the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX), where government cuppers would grade and position the coffee for sale to exporters.

Today, Daniel Mijane runs most day-to-day operations at the family’s two private stations (the other is in Worka Sakaro, in the southeastern corner of Gedeb), the exporting itself, and the coffee has become his namesake. Halo Hartume’s contributing farmers number almost 400, and farm sizes range from 1 to 10 hectares. The Mijane family’s involvement with farmers begins long before harvest in harvest training and the establishment of seasonal collection sites—local delivery points that reduce overland travel for farmers and provide a quality inspection point for the washing station.

During harvest season, bulk deliveries come in from the collection sites around 6 pm. Halo Hartume conducts a final inspection for uniform ripeness, foreign matter, and overall quality before admitting cherry to the tables for drying. Once transported, the cherry will dry in the sun, continuously rotated, and aerated for 1-2 weeks. Naturals at Halo Hartume are typically covered during the hottest hours of the day, 11:00 am and 3:00 pm when the sun’s intensity risks creating mold or uneven humidity across even a single layer of cherry.

Private processors like Halo Hartume are a thing to behold. The sheer competition among washing stations tends to push cherry prices as high as double throughout a single harvest. Privates often don’t have the backing of a larger union to secure financing, regulate cherry prices, or bring export costs down with centralized milling and marketing. It’s a tricky business being a remote processor in Gedeo.

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By Everyday Coffee Roasters

Classification of Omicron (B.1.1.529): SARS-CoV-2

The B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa on 24 November 2021. The epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant. In recent weeks, infections have increased steeply, coinciding with the detection of B.1.1.529 variant. The first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on 9 November 2021.

This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other VOCs. The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa. Current SARS-CoV-2 PCR diagnostics continue to detect this variant. Several labs have indicated that for one widely used PCR test, one of the three target genes is not detected (called S gene dropout or S gene target failure) and this test can therefore be used as a marker for this variant, pending sequencing confirmation. Using this approach, this variant has been detected at faster rates than previous surges in infection, suggesting that this variant may have a growth advantage.

There are a number of studies underway and the TAG-VE will continue to evaluate this variant. WHO will communicate new findings with the Member States and to the public as needed.

Based on the evidence presented indicative of a detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology, the TAG-VE has advised WHO that this variant should be designated as a VOC, and the WHO has designated B.1.1.529 as a VOC (Variant of Concern), named Omicron.

Individuals are reminded to take measures to reduce their risk of COVID-19, including proven public health and social measures such as wearing well-fitting masks, hand hygiene, physical distancing, improving the ventilation of indoor spaces, avoiding crowded spaces, and getting vaccinated.

For reference, WHO has working definitions for SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Interest (VOI) and Variant of Concern (VOC).

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By Everyday Coffee Roasters

Bokod, Benguet Province

The Bokod is a 4th class municipality in the province of Benguet, Cordillera highlands of the northern mountains of the Philippines. It is heavily forested with Pine and Alnus trees which is greatly responsible for that deep rich flavor.

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By Everyday Coffee Roasters

Panama San Benito

Panama is an origin that constantly makes headlines in the specialty coffee world mostly associated with the renowned Gesha variety. But several complexities influence specialty coffee, and it would be a mistake to reduce the complexity of this famous growing region to nothing more than plant variety. With this lot of Caturra from Finca Candela, one of several farms in the San Benito Cafe group, there is an opportunity to explore the impact of terroir on different varieties. The San Benito group has 240 acres cultivated with coffee. In addition to a mindful and environmentally balanced approach to farm management, San Benito has an experienced team and onsite infrastructure at the farm to ensure attention to detail during the harvest. The Caturra lot is processed using a washed method. After selective picking, ripe cherries are floated to remove less dense and damaged seeds, and then de-pulped, fermented, washed, and placed on raised beds, and turned regularly for 8 to 12 days. Drying is finished using a mechanical dryer to ensure precise moisture content.

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By Everyday Coffee Roasters

Luis Anibal Pink Bourbon

This coffee is produced by Don Luis Anibal Calderon, a world-renowned producer at Finca Betulia.

This coffee was carefully hand-picked to use only the ripest cherries, exposed to a dry anaerobic fermentation of 48 hours before being pulped inside Grainpro bags at 20 celsius, in this environment bacteria feeds from carbohydrates and sugars from the mucilage that leads to a higher concentration of lactic acid.

Afterward, pulped gently washed, and placed on raised beds to 10.5% moisture content.

This micro lot is 100% Pink Bourbon. This varietal is currently under research to determine its origin. It is said that it is a mutation that took place at 2100 meters above sea level in San Adolfo, Huila.

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