The road between Bulga and Qorema forks just seven miles away. That said, the growers and harvesters who haul their cherry to Qorema tend to travel from a completely different mountain range. It practically borders Sidama, a growing region with its own characteristics. Maybe that’s why they taste so distinctive.
Clearly, Qorema has its own thing going on. Since day one—which was only five years ago—Qorema co-op members have focused on their relationship with water.
They knew that washing their own coffee would bring them greater quality control, and in turn the potential for greater profits. But they also knew that water wouldn’t be easy to come by in West Arsi. Together with the international nonprofit TechnoServe, they decided on a Penagos pulper & demucilager system to minimize water waste.
Qorema members couldn’t afford to waste any water, even if they wanted to. Their fresh water source is a river in the valley, and pumping that water up to the mill is a challenge. At the moment, the co-op pumps that water halfway up the incline into a little reservoir; then another pump relays it the rest of the way.
The families of Qorema put equal intention into their mill’s water disposal. It gets diverted from running down that same hill, and absorbed into a pit surrounded by vetiver swale.
Maybe it has nothing to do with either the water or the growing region. But for some reason, Qorema has its own bright, crystalline, and beautiful thing going on.