Limu coffees come from the southwestern parts of Ethiopia, in the Oromia Region. These coffees are grown at altitudes of up to 2000 meters above sea level. They tend to show a cup profile with a medium body and flavor notes of wine and fruit with a sharp, citric like acidity and a clean finish.
Washed Limu coffees are a relatively new phenomenon in the Ethiopian coffee market. For generations coffees in these areas were produced as sun dried coffees. Washing these coffees, to protect the final quality and consistency were popularized fairly recently and with great success.
Prior to large scale opening of cooperatively owned washing stations, farmers would dry their coffees on the ground and store the coffee in their homes, until they needed some money, at which point the producer would bring the dried cherry to a buying station and get the little money they needed. The problem was that these coffees earned the farmer very low prices due to the lower quality of what were known as Jimma 5 coffees.
As cooperatives opened washing stations, the coffees immediately started earning a higher income for farmers. As the quality improved, better prices for the farmers followed. The rise of Washed Limu coffees not only introduced a new region of premium coffees for the specialty roaster to explore and share with their customers, but it also introduced a newly afforded livelihood for the producers in Western Ethiopia.
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