For a country known as the birthplace of coffee, it's no surprise the coffee farms of Ethiopia are known to have a "Mother Tree". Traditional Ethiopian coffee farming propagates new trees by surrounding an old and honorable coffee tree using the seeds from it, creating a family of children all born from the heirloom mother tree. This among many other reasons makes it safe to say the coffees of Ethiopia always hold a little extra magic and sparkle in our hearts and cups. The high-altitude, shade-grown coffees of the Guji zone of Ethiopia are among them, and we are delighted to bring you another offering this year from a very new mill.
This coffee comes to us from the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU) located in Uraga, Guji and processed at the Yabitu Koba washing station. Thirty kilometers south of Shakiso, the Uraga region is about as far south as coffee production happens in Ethiopia. The trees growing here are heirloom varieties of coffees native to Ethiopia, planted in the "Mother Tree" fashion. Coffee can be found growing here as high as 2,100 meters above sea level—and none of the cherry arriving at Yabitu Koba washing station is grown lower than 1,900 masl. The climate is drier than in Yirgacheffe, and is grown under a shade canopy of mountain forest.
The Yabitu Koba washing station is a brand new cooperative facility that was created by the members of OCFCU when its station at Layo Toraga reached capacity. Coffee here is processed by disc de-pulping and fermented in white-tile lined fermentation tanks and long, corrugated channels which discourage unwanted microbial activity. After 48 hours' fermentation in the tanks and washing in the channels, the coffee is dried on raised beds.
We are honored to be continuing our connection with OCFCU and the Guji region via our friends at Red Fox Coffee Merchants, and can't wait to share this wonderful Ethiopian coffee. In it, we tasted notes of raspberry, honey, and dark chocolate in a light body.
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