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Ethiopia - Guji Hambella Alaka

Village Dimtu village, Alaka Kebele, Hambella District
Region Guji Zone, Oromia Region
Variety JARC varieties, Local Landraces
Process Natural
Altitude 1900 - 2100 meters above sea level
Tasting Notes Grape, plum, tropical fruit

Ethiopia, renowned as the birthplace of the coffee plant, maintains its allure in the specialty coffee industry today, thanks to its impressive array of cup profiles. Although maintaining complete traceability has posed challenges in recent times, new regulations have opened the door for direct purchasing. Thanks to our team on the ground, we're actively collaborating with both farmers and exporters to source exceptional specialty coffee lots, bringing value to both farmers and roasters alike.

The exceptional quality of Ethiopian coffee arises from a harmonious blend of various factors. The genetic diversity of coffee varieties results in a tapestry of flavours, distinguishing even farms with similar growth conditions and processing methods. Processing techniques also play a pivotal role in the final product's quality. Furthermore, the historical producing traditions of Ethiopia have contributed to the genetic diversity, processing infrastructure, and the delightful coffee we savour today.

Our valued partner in this area, G&F Coffee, was established in 1980 but commenced exporting only in 2013. Presently, G&F operates more than 10 washing stations, strategically located in Yirgacheffe and Guji, with their export processing centre in Addis Ababa.

Guji, located in the Oromia Region of southern Ethiopia, is primarily inhabited by the Oromo community, with their language, Oromo, differing significantly from Ethiopia's main language, Amharic. Much like various coffee-growing regions in the country, the culture within Guji varies from woreda (administrative districts) to woreda, showcasing the diverse backgrounds of those engaged in coffee cultivation.

In Ethiopia, the majority of coffee producers are smallholders, with most farmers working on plots smaller than 5 hectares, often counting their coffee farms in terms of trees rather than land area. Therefore, most coffee is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Traditional cultivation methods prevail, with the cultivation, harvesting, and drying processes almost entirely executed using manual systems. Coffee is usually integrated into a "coffee garden," intercropped alongside other vital food crops. The false banana tree, for instance, serves as a staple food source for their households, with any excess production sold locally.

In Ethiopia, there's a single main harvest each year, usually occurring in November and December, encompassing all the nation's growing regions. The coffee varieties have been rooted in the region for generations, with no plans to introduce new varieties due to their impressive adaptation to the land and region.

The distinguished Guji Hambela Alaka Natural coffee takes its name from the kebele (local administrative division) where it's meticulously harvested. Cultivated at elevations between 1900 and 2100 meters, this coffee follows a natural processing method. Farmers meticulously handpick the cherry and deliver it to the washing station, where a careful hand-sorting process removes under-ripe or damaged cherries. The beans are then dispersed on raised beds for drying, ensuring consistent turning and coverage to achieve uniform drying. The coffee remains here for 15 to 25 days, reaching the optimal moisture content before being hulled and prepared for export.

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