• A man picks out bad coffee cherries from the pulping machine.

    The Water Wise Coffee Wet Mills (and Non-Water Wise Coffee Wet Mills)

    May 16, 2015 Comments: 6

    Water Wise Coffee began converting the wet mills along the Kola river in 2012. We started with seven wet mills: Bergona Hagarasodicha Hondobana Borbodo (two sites) Esayas Hameso Lensamo Lamiso Selam Gebre Niguse Yitbarek Tilahun In 2013 a further 10 wet mills joined the program, and another 9 joined in 2014 (these mills are listed... View Article

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  • One of the Water Wise Coffee wet mill owners enjoys a cup of coffee at his home in the mountains south of Awassa.

    The Coffee Ceremony #2

    May 15, 2015 Comments: 6

    The coffee ceremony can take a little while because it has several steps that the person conducting the ceremony (it’s almost certainly going to be a woman, and usually dressed in traditional clothes) will need to perform. The process doesn’t actually start with coffee. It begins with the preparation of the room. The woman performing... View Article

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  • A woman roasts coffee beans during an Ethiopian coffee ceremony.

    The Coffee Ceremony #1

    May 14, 2015 Comments: 4

    About half of Ethiopia’s coffee production goes to the domestic market – this is because coffee has become so significant to Ethiopian culture. The coffee ceremony is extremely important, even if these days young, hardworking Ethiopians find they no longer have the time to perform it and prefer to get their coffee from coffee shops... View Article

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  • Water Wise Coffee wet mill employees shovel coffee cherry pulp out of the water, where it is then used to create compost for future coffee plants.

    Cleaning Up – So How Does Vetiver Grass Work?

    May 13, 2015 Comments: 7

    The Water Wise Coffee program uses Vetiver grass wetlands to clean the wastewater from the wet mills. Planting a Vetiver wetland on the wet mill site is a key part of the solution to cleaning up the wet mills. So what is Vetiver grass and why is it so good at its job? Vetiver grass,... View Article

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  • Water Wise Coffee wet mill employees watch the pulping machine to ensure everything is running smoothly.

    Establishing a Wet Mill

    May 8, 2015 Comments: 3

    When a farming cooperative or a private investor decides to establish a wet mill, the first thing to do is to find an appropriate site. There are several important criteria for a wet mill site. First the wet mill needs plenty of space for the drying trays and all the equipment. Second, it needs access... View Article

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  • Coffee cherry pulp is filtered through a water sluice in the wet mill.

    The Process at the Wet Mill

    May 5, 2015 Comments: 14318

    The wet mills are sometimes known as coffee washing stations, and when you know a bit about the process at the wet mill, it’s easy to see why. Once the coffee cherries have been harvested and delivered they are fed into the pulping machine that separates the cherry skin and fruit from the seed (which... View Article

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  • A woman sorts through coffee beans to ensure all beans in this batch are of the highest quality.

    Coffee Beans #2: Grading Green Coffee Beans

    May 4, 2015 Comments: 2

    If you’re a coffee drinker you will know that the quality of your coffee can vary. Mostly the coffee that sold for export is the higher quality coffee. In Ethiopia much of the poorer quality coffee is kept back for local consumption, but even then there can be some variation. The quality of the coffee... View Article

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  • Perfectly ripe coffee beans ready to go through the pulping machine.

    Coffee Beans #1: Good vs Bad Beans

    May 3, 2015 Comments: 4

    When the mills are in operation laborers sort through the dry green coffee – known as parchment – to weed out the bad beans. They are looking for any discoloration. A kind of jade green color is the color of a healthy bean, but a bean that has gone black is rotten and needs to... View Article

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  • Photo of coffee waste in the Kola River

    The Importance of Water

    May 2, 2015 Comments: 13

    The Water Wise Coffee program is about tackling pollution from coffee waste to provide clean water for local communities, but access to clean water is an imperative for everyone, not just the villagers along the Kola River. Water is one of the most important substances on earth – we need it to live. It makes... View Article

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  • Drying racks out in the sun at a Water Wise Coffee wet mill.

    The Drying Process

    May 1, 2015 Comments: 8

    Once the beans have been fermented and washed they need to be dried. In the wet mills along the Kola River this takes place on long wooden drying racks that have been put together in the days before the mill goes into operation. The racks are usually covered with burlap and the beans – which... View Article

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