The community of Worka Chelbessa is located in Gedeb, the southernmost part of the Gedeo region. For the last decade, the area of Gedeb has become more well known for producing spectacular coffees. It's for this reason that coffee producer Negusse Debela chose to build his first washing station here.
In 2017, Negusse started operating in Work Chelbessa, but quickly expanded in 2019 by buying another washing station a few miles away in an area called Danche. The two stations, run by Negusse and his team, execute immaculate washed and natural processed coffees, but also create unique experimental lots in an effort to continuously improve their quality.
Prior to working in coffee, Negusse Debela operated an import company specializing in computer components. During a trip to Minnesota, he was introduced to specialty coffee after ordering a pour-over at a local cafe. The experience was his "coffee epiphany", and helped him realize the potential of coffee in his home country.
Upon his return, Negusse began touring washing stations to better understand farming and processing. From that initial tour, he was determined to set his company SNAP on a course to be one of the highest quality coffee exporters in Ethiopia. He started by hiring Abenezer Asafaw, an energetic coffee professional, as his Quality Manager. Nugusse, along with Abenezer, has since bought land for SNAP to process coffee themselves, and have also started managing processing sites in Nensebo, Gedeb, and Guji. In early 2019, SNAP finished the final touches on their own export dry mill, giving them full control of their quality and product.
The Worka Chelbessa washing station utilizes traditional underwater fermentation techniques commonly used in Ethiopia, but in 2021 began experimenting with dry fermentation as well. This lot is a combination of both wet and dry fermentation. During wet fermentation, the depulped coffee seeds are fully submerged in water for 36 to 72 hours. In dry fermentation, the depulped coffee seeds are left to ferment in an open environment for 36 to 48 hours. After fermentation is complete, the coffee seeds are rinsed and allowed to dry for 10-14 days on raised beds.