Tasting Notes: White Grape, Mango, Papaya, Tea Rose, Candy, Lemon
Varietal: Heirloom Varietals
Ethiopia Organic Guji Coffee
Coffee from the Guji Highland Coffee Plantation thrives in natural, semi-forest areas at soaring altitudes that reach 2,000 to 2,150masl. Established in 2012, the estate follows strict technical guidelines for production and engages additional smallholders in the surrounding area with training and guidance.
The Oromo people of the Guji region have their own origin story for the discovery of coffee; that’s how deeply woven the crop is within their culture. Instead of Kaldi the goatherder, the Oromo sky god Waaqa brought forth a new plant from the earth with his tears that were shed over the wrongful death of a loyal servant.
From as early as the 10th century, coffee has been present in Oromo culture. It has always been prized for the energy it provided and was eaten on long journeys. Centuries later, farmers in Guji still follow traditional growing methods that complement the incredibly fertile soil there. Because there is so much nutrition in the land, coffee is grown organically (although most are not certified as such). Many landrace varieties still thrive on Ethiopia’s coffee farms, intercropped with maize, barley, wheat, beans, and other crops that provide sustenance to farming families.
Natural Processed Coffee In Ethiopia
In the natural process, only the ripest coffee cherries are harvested. The entire procedure requires thorough planning because drying naturals is a slow process that can take up to four weeks. Coffee cherries are dried whole, without removing any of the fruit. During this stage, the coffee is turned regularly to increase airflow, support even drying, and prevent spoilage. After the cherries have been dried, the seeds (or coffee beans) are removed from the fruit and prepared for export.
At the Guji Highland Coffee Plantation, skilled workers take extra care to sort out under-ripe cherries and natural debris for optimal final cup quality in multiple steps. After drying and hulling, workers color-sort beans by hand for discoloration and size. Mechanical shakers sort the beans by density, and electric “eyes” scan the beans for defects, discolorations, and other malformations. The Guji green coffee is then polished to eliminate silver skin to avoid excess chaff in the roasting process.
Ethiopia Coffee Quality Grading
Ethiopia coffee quality grading is based on the combined result of physical qualities and cup qualities, including altitude, imperfections, and flavor. Grades range from 1 (high) to 9 (low), with grades 1 and 2 considered specialty. Guji distinguishes itself from Yirgacheffe or Sidama profiles with complex yet balanced cups that work beautifully as espresso or filter brews. The exceptional cup profile of this Grade 1 Guji natural is the result of strong growing, harvesting, sorting and processing practices.
Ethiopia, the homeland of Arabica coffee, might only produce 3-4% of the world’s coffee supply, but the variety of character that comes from this origin is astounding. Thousands of different landrace varieties still grow wild in Ethiopia’s mountainous forests.
Ethiopian coffee beans are celebrated for their bright fruit and floral flavors, expressed with exceptional acidity and sweetness. Out of the many coffee-growing districts in the country, a few stand out from the crowd with their highly distinctive cup profiles, like Yirgacheffe, Sidama, and Guji.