Worka Sakaro is a small municipality located on the eastern edge of the Gedeb district, part of the highly-coveted Gedeo Zone, a narrow section of plateau dense with savvy farmers whose coffee is known as “Yirgacheffe”, after the zone’s most famous district. Worka Sakaro processing station, was started by Mijane Woresa in 2011. In 2017 Mr. Woresa secured an export license for himself, and, after 30 years of work in coffee, brought his son Daniel aboard. Today, Daniel Mijane runs the majority of day-to-day operations at the family’s two private stations, as well as exporting the coffee itself. Worka Sakaro’s contributing farmers number 410, and farm sizes range from 1 to 10 hectares. The Mijane family’s involvement with farmers begins long before harvest in the form of harvest trainings and the establishment of seasonal cherry collection sites—local delivery points that reduce overland travel for farmers and provide a quality inspection point for the washing station. During harvest season, as cherries arrive, Worka Sakaro conduct a final inspection for uniform ripeness, foreign matter, and overall quality, before admitting cherries to be processed. After de-pulping, co ee typically ferments for 48 hours, is rinsed, and then skin-dried in the shade until no longer wet to the touch. Once ready to transport, parchment is moved to full-time drying beds in the sun where it will be continuously rotated and aerated for one week, typically being covered during the hottest hours of the day, 11:00am - 3:00pm, when the intensity of the sun can potentially crack the coffee’s brittle parchment.
As a terroir, the Gedeo Zone has for decades been considered a benchmark for beauty and complexity in arabica coffee, and in the past decade the Gedeb district has achieved a kind of sub-label all its own, thanks to an increasing diversity of single farmers and independent processors like the Mijane family bringing more and more refinement to an already deeply gifted terroir and coffee farming culture. Worka Sakaro coffees in particular are dense and tart with tropical fruit and tea-like complexity when fully washed, and seductively sweet and perfumed when sundried.