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Washing Station




Town: Worka Town
Station name: Chelbesa
Station manager: Girum Assefa

Chelbesa has been one of our favourite washed coffees for the last two years running! We found florals with winey tropical fruit, black tea and great structure.

The farmers here allow the cherry to ripen well before they harvest, they know that this allows for more sweetness. They also believe that their god will let them know the exact right time to begin picking. The farmers here can walk for up to two hours to deliver their cherry to the washing station. Girum Assefa pays careful attention in managing the site and the processing of these coffees.





Danche is a washing station located in Chelbesa, Gedeo. They buy cherries from 400 farmers* who produce good yields thanks to fertile soil and good farming methods. This washing station has organic certification.

*data corresponds to the 2021/22 season and will vary from year to year.

Ethiopia > Gedeo > Gedebt

Founded: 2019

Altitude: 2000-2300masl

Origin type: Mill

No. of farms: 400



– Vegetation: Semi-forest

– Cultivars: Welisho and Kurume

– Average lot size of farmers: 1-2 hectares

– Soil type: Rich and fertile red soil

– Number of trees per hectare: 1800-2400

– How much cherries per tree on average: 3 kgs

– Average selling price of farmers per kilo of cherries in 2019/2020 harvest: $0.80/25 birr





SNAP COFFEE was established in Addis Ababa in 2008, by coffee-passionate entrepreneur, Negusse D. Weldyes. The company runs three coffee washing and processing stations in Chelelektu, Kochere District of the Gedeo Zone and partnering washing stations in Uraga (Guji) and Nensebo (West Arsi). On average, about 550 farmers supply each washing station.

The company’s supply policy rests on three main pillars:

– Process specialty coffee consistently;

– Transfer the required know-how to the outgrowing farmers along with a great desire and training in processing and cleaning methods;

– Protect the environment through waste recycling systems.

SNAP COFFEE is a business group engaged in other activities as well. They have an electronics assembly business and a software development company. They began their specialty coffee export business after the ECX reformed regulations to make it easier for companies to export coffee in 2017. The company currently exports about 78 containers per year. They employ around 253 employees, of which 13 are in their speciality coffee exporting business.

SNAP COFFEE’s relationship with Tropiq began quite recently. “We are quite at ease because of Tropiq’s efficiency in communication, and even more on logistics facilitation,” Abenezer, SNAP COFFEE Supply Chain Manager said.

He also reports that Tropiq’s regular and timely feedback on coffee lots have given SNAP COFFEE a lot of insight which helps them supply consistently great coffee.





Harvest and cherry selection

Cherries are collected manually and hand sorted later

Pulping and pre-grading

The cherries are pulped by a traditional Agaarde Discpulper. Skin and fruit pulp are removed before the machine grades the parchment in water as 1st or 2nd quality, determined by density.


Wet fermentation for 72 hours

Washing and grading in channels

Coffees are washed in channels and graded in water by density. The lower density (lower quality) will float and are removed, leaving only the denser and therefore higher quality beans which are separated as higher grade lots.

Soaked under clean water

After fermentation, soaking takes place for 2 hours

Drying and hand-sorting

Coffee is then piled up in layers which are 2cm in height and dried over a 10 days period then followed by hand sorting for 2-4 hours






Warehousing at the washing station

After drying the coffees will be packed in jute bags and stored in the local warehouse onsite, separated by process and grade. Lot sizes can vary from 100 – 300 bags. This process helps condition the coffee and achieve a more uniform humidity. They will normally be stored 1-2 months before they are moved. In some cases, the parchment will be hand-sorted in the warehouse

Transport and logistics

After the harvest season is over the coffees are moved to warehouses and dry mills in Addis. Trucking is expensive in Ethiopia. The coffee trucks must pass a local ECX checkpoint where their contents are graded and registered as an exportable product before it continues to Addis Ababa

Warehousing and dry milling

The coffee will sit in parchment in a warehouse in Addis. This is when the samples from the specific stock lots will be collected. It remains in parchment until it is contracted and the destination for shipment is confirmed

Tropiq Lab and quality control

The samples collected will be cupped and graded to measure humidity and water activity. When the specific lot is selected for purchase and the contract is registered with a shipping destination and coffee will be approved for milling and shipment. After the processing, grading and bagging, PSS sample coffee will be taken for approval

Container stuffing and transport

We generally try to get our containers stuffed in Addis at the dry mills, moved to the port, and straight on a vessel in Djibouti. This way we reduce the risk of delays or mistakes at port that frequently happen when moving coffee by truck for stuffing in Djibouti



SNAP COFFEE supports the community of smallholders living near the washing station through partnerships with washing station owners. The washing stations build schools and SNAP COFFEE provides computers and other facilities. SNAP COFFEE is also constructing roads to less accessible farming areas. SNAP COFFEE is also planning to build health clinics in the future to improve access to healthcare for farmers in the washing station areas.