This coffee was produced by Esayas Beriso in the town of Buku in the Hambela Wamena district of the Guji growing region. The Guji growing region is located in the South-Central regional state of Oromia. Unusual for Ethiopian coffees, this coffee is traceable down to the particular farmer. In 2008, in an effort to increase profits for farmers, and to maintain a high standard for exports, Ethiopia centralized their coffee exports through the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX). Coffees moved through this system are sorted for quality and marked generically for sale. Often, it is difficult to trace these coffees beyond the washing station at which they were processed.
The town of Buku, where this farm is located, has some of the highest elevations in Ethiopia. These high altitudes provide the ideal climate for slow-ripening coffee, resulting in a crop with a deeper and more nuanced acidity. Esayas Beriso’s farm reaches altitudes of 2350 meters above sea level. The farm’s coffee trees are dispersed throughout the mountainous region. Horses are utilized to transport coffee throughout the difficult terrain.
This farm is partnered with an Ethiopian organization called SNAP Speciality Coffee Exporters. SNAP is a company which invests in warehousing and processing options for coffee producers. The company runs three processing stations in the Kochere district of the Gedeo zone in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ region. Esayas has been working with SNAP since 2019 and is utilized as a model farmer for other coffee producers.
SNAP’s supply policy stands on three main pillars: “Process specialty coffee consistently; transfer the required know-how to the outgrowing farmers, along with training in processing and cleaning methods; and guarantee environmental protection through waste recycling systems. This way we aim at sustaining the future of Arabica coffee to the world market.”
Esayas’ coffee is hand-picked on the steep mountainous slopes, and hand-sorted when it arrives at the drying site. The cherries are spread on raised-beds and dried for 18 days, with frequent turning. After the drying process, the cherries are sorted again to ensure utmost quality. The dried cherries are taken to a dry mill in Dimtu town 2.5km away, where they are hulled to remove the parchment: the outer protective layer of the coffee.
Esayas has started various programs on his farm focused on improving the environment. He has begun planting various species of shade trees to promote biodiversity and improve climatic conditions for coffee, while returning the forest to a more natural state. Social programs are also being put in place to educate neighboring producers about growing coffee, while providing means for financial support. Due to the challenging landscape of Buku, new infrastructure is also being developed to make harvesting and transporting coffee much easier.
- Region: Guji producing region, within the Oromia regional state
Town: Buku, within the Hambela Wamena district
- Farmer: Esayas Beriso
- Process: Natural
- Elevation: 2000 - 2350 meters
- Variety: Kurume