The Refisa washing station is run and operated by Neguesse Debela and his company SNAP. The washing station is located in the heart of the Nensebo Woreda (district) in the region of West Arsi.
Refisa receives coffee cherries from growers in the communities of Roricho, Bulga, Refisa, and Solena. Coffees from this area are generally classified as Sidama, but this area the last few years has been making a distinct name for itself for quality. In 2020, in the first Cup of Excellence, West Arsi had more than 1/3 of all the winners in the competition, more than any other region, but also notably had 4 coffees in the top 10.
While West Arsi, may not be a name that is widely popular now for coffee, it certainly will be, and Negusse Debela is working hard to make sure Refisa is a standout coffee from an up and coming standout region.
Negusse Debela has not been in the coffee industry long. Nugusse is known in Ethiopia as a computer guy, running a successful computer part import company. While coffee does not seem like a natural leap, Nugussie was inspired on trip to Minnesota; where at a cafe he had a pour-over that for him was an epiphany.
At that moment he realized the potential of coffee in his home country and upon his return he got right to work. Nugusse started off by touring coffee processing sites throughout southern Ethiopia to understand the farming and processing better. From that initial tour, Nugusse was determined to set his company SNAP on a course to be one of the best quality exporters in Ethiopia.
To do this Nugusse started by hiring Abenezer Asafaw, an energetic young coffee professional as his quality and coffee manager. Nugusse, with Abenezer by his side, has since bought land for SNAP to process coffee themselves, but have also started managing processing sites in Nensebo, Yirgacheffe, and Guji.
In early 2019, SNAP finished the final touches on their own export dry mill, giving them full control of their product and quality.
Tropical Fruit, Floral, Lemon Tea
The profile of this coffee is slightly more juicy than you find in many washed Ethiopian coffees, which is further accentuated by the tropical fruit notes of this coffee. In addition to the tropical fruits- look for a light floral note throughout, and a lemon tea finish.
Farmers brings their cherries to process at the washing station where they are hand-sorted and floated for defects. Once sorted the coffee is fermented for 48 -72 hours, washed, soaked for 5 hrs, and dried on raised beds for 8-10 days until they reach final moisture of 10.5%.
Nensebo, West Arsi
Located in larger region of Oromia, West Arsi is about 400 Km south of Addis Ababa. The Nensebo Woreda is home to a collection of smallholder farmers totaling 5,000 hectares of coffee. The average farm size in Nensebo is two hectares and producers here grow a range of selected coffee varieties from the JARC (Jimma Agricultural Research Center) and coffee varieties that said to have originated from the neighboring forests of the area.
Nansebo historically has been sold as a Sidama coffee, but this woreda (distrcit) is technically a part of the region of West Arsi. While not as well known as some other regions of Ethiopia, Nansebo, surprised coffee aficionados by claiming more than 1/3 of all the Cup of Excellence winners in the inaugural tasting competition in 2020.