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Our Coffees: Ethiopia - Beshasha G2

Region info: Jimma, Western Ethiopia


Ethiopia has a long and rich history of coffee cultivation that dates back to the 9th century. However, the Jimma region rose to prominence in the 19th century during the reign of Emperor Menelik II. Recognizing the potential of the region's fertile soil and ideal climate, the emperor promoted the cultivation of coffee in Jimma, paving the way for it to become a key coffee-growing area in Ethiopia. Today, the region's coffee production is an important part of the local economy and a source of pride for the people of Jimma.


Coffee farming in Jimma is largely characterized by smallholder farmers who cultivate coffee on plots of land that are less than 2 hectares in size. These farmers often intercrop coffee with other food crops such as enset, maize, and beans, which helps to maintain soil fertility and biodiversity. The majority of coffee in Jimma is grown under the shade of native trees, a practice that contributes to the distinctive flavor profile of the beans and promotes environmental sustainability.


Ethiopia Coffee Growing

History of coffee in Ethiopia - "The Birthplace of Coffee"


As the birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia is home to more species of coffee plants than any place on earth, much of it still growing wild, and much of it still undiscovered. All Ethiopian coffee is Arabica and at least 150 varieties are commercially cultivated. Traditionally, these have simply been labelled as “heirloom varietals”; however, this is changing as the Jimma Agricultural Research Center works to identify species.  Although there are a few estates in Ethiopia, 95% of coffee is grown by small land holders in a wide variety of environments, including “coffee forests” where coffee grows wild and is harvested by the local people. All specialty grade Ethiopian Coffee is grown above 1,200 metres above sea level (masl) with most of that being grown above 1,800 masl.


 

We spoke to Kieran, our head roaster, as to why he chose this coffee...


Growth


Flavour Profile


"I found this coffee after months of trialling various East African coffees and noticed it had such vibrancy without losing its balance and sweetness that make Ethiopian coffees so wonderful. It really brings a nice, clean vanilla hint to our Coastal Blend medium roast and it also gives tremendous acidity and balance to our Peaks Blend light roast"



Growth


"Mustefa Abakeno, the farm owner's commitment to excellence extends to development as well as growing. He has constructed a modern warehouse in Agaro (a town about 400km south-west of Addis Ababa), impeccably equipped for milling Natural processed coffees. This investment underscores his dedication to refining and enhancing coffee cherry processing to meet the highest standards. I am constantly looking at Mustefa's harvests for new, exciting flavours."



Sustainable Farming


"Business should be done for the benefit for all involved. From the farmers in Ethiopia to the consumers in East Anglia and everyone in between. I believe that this coffee as well as all the others we source, roast and sell has the power to change for good. This farm uses fully sustainable methods in harvesting and we also partner with 'Play it Green' and 'Eden Reforestation' to help offset the emissions caused by the travel miles this coffee makes across the Atlantic ocean."

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