The producers of Keramo, who live high in the beautiful Bombe mountains, are so remote that the area does not have its own central washing station. They are part of a member organization consisting of 667 producers in various parts of the mountain range, which also include producers from Bombe and Shantawene. We’ve worked with this group since before it was officially founded. The last two years, the Keramo producers chose to process their coffees through the Bombe Washing Station to the new quality specifications. This coffee continues to stand out as a team favorite on the cupping table. It is a dense coffee, with heavy concentrations of the smaller screen sizes (the majority of the coffee screen sizes at 13-14) which is highly unusual and reflects the higher elevations where the coffee is grown.
Prior to the 2017/18 harvest, this producing group brought their coffees to a different washing station nearby, called Shantawene washing station, where we first encountered the coffees and purchased them as mixed lots, all sold under the name of Shantawene in the 2015-17 harvests. We were noticing different cup dynamics from the cherries that came from different areas, and eventually began to isolate coffees by village. This led to the move to Bombe washing station and getting even more isolation in the lots. Catalyst’s Quality and Sourcing Director, Michael McIntyre, says, “Coffees from the producers in Keramo Village are among the best I’ve ever had. Washed lots are dynamic, with layered botanical and perfumed characteristics, while the naturals maintain intensely articulated fruits and florals—so far in our experiments, the honeys are a lovely mash up of the two, where you might have champagne and sangria in the washed and natural, respectively, you’ll find red and white vermouths in the honey.”