Washed Organic Hambela Dimtu Guji

Washed Organic Hambela Dimtu Guji

Kassa - Washed Organic Hambela Dimtu - Guji

Washed:

jasmine soda / lemon candy / watermelon candy / ginger

tea / plum / Honeyed / deep black tea / sweetly tart acidity, like granny smith

 

 

Hambela Dimtu

Oromia

Region

Guji Zone

Hambela Wamena

District

Banti Nenqa

Village

Processes

Special Prep Washed screen size isolation 13/14, 15, 16+

 

Personnel

Owner:

Aklilu Kassa & Biniam Aklilu Kassa

General Manager: Biniyam Kassa

Assistant Manager: Elias Mijo

Mechanic: Balcha Loga & Bisrat G/Medhin

8 full time employees and 180 seasonal

Demographics

Local people group name:

Banti Nenqa

Local language(s):

Oromifa

Details:

Certifications: NOP and JAS Organic Certified, C.A.F.E.

Practices

Soil type: red brown soil

2100 MASL

Local name for coffee varieties:

Guji, Typica ,Heirloom

"There was no road when I built my first washing station,"

says Aklilu Biniam, while sipping a traditionally-prepared

Ethiopian macchiato at our flower-flanked table in an Addis

Ababa hotel. To his right sits Biniam, his eldest son, a mid-

twenties youngster who works harder than most men dream of and

who lights up with joy when he gets the chance to talk about the

projects in Guji, where his family originates, and about his

shared plans with his father for their export company and

washing stations. Somewhere off to the left his glorious

youngest, Beka, plays tag with our daughter Eire. Both

occasionally run up to their parents for sips of soda or a

handful of kolo, roasted barley & nuts.

Aklilu is a fourth-generation coffee professional in

Ethiopia for whom coffee isn't just an afterthought. His

grandfather received a grant of 500 hectares in Guji decades

ago, during the reign of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie.

Eight wives and countless children resulted in that land being

split, and split again down family lines. Aklilu's father made

history in Guji by founding the very first privately-owned

washing station in the area, after years working as a cherry

collections agent. This first washing station was established in

1995 (1987 by the Ethiopian calendar) and went by the name of

Kassa Chirressa. Aklilu, then 28, went to work for his father,

who still operates the mill.

"

At that time, Guji, along with Yirgacheffe, Kochere, and

dozens of other now-distinct district, was known as Sidama

coffee," remembers Aklilu. "All my brothers and sisters worked

at the washing station with me." Every year new challenges

appeared with metronomic regularity: without roads, the workers

had to resort to transporting coffee on the backs of mules. Over

4-5 years, the siblings and the staff at Kassa Chirressa and

Aklilu's first washing station, Hegar Mariam, physically brought

rocks from various parts of Guji to build their own road, and

eventually were able to bring trucks in to the remote washing

stations to transport the cherries to ECX warehouses without

risking the coffee's integrity. As an intriguing aside, Hegar

Mariam is 300 rough-and-tumble kilometers from Kenya's northern

border.

A strong and handsome gentleman, Aklilu carries an air of

confidence with him everywhere he goes. It's a confidence earned

by taking risks and by dint of hard work and endless sacrifice,

coupled with creativity. Biniam, who studied business in the

United States and has put in long hours away from social media

and the lure of city life in Guji overseeing several washing

station experiments, has the same glow.

The Guji Zone of Southern Ethiopia pushes up against the

lush zones of Sidama and West Arsi to the north, to the Bale

Zone in the east, and to the famous Gedeo Zone to the West.

Given their closeness, Guji and Gedeo Zones share many crossover

characteristics in coffee processing and production, resulting

in similar bright, sparkly coffees with heavy floral notes and

an overall delicacy. Oromiffa is spoken in West Guji, with a

fair sprinkling of Gedeo. Both are Semitic languages like most

of the 82 tribal tongues spoken around Ethiopia.

As in the Gedeo Zone, coffees in Guji are grown under shade

trees that include enset (false banana), wanza (an indigenous

African tree that grows near water sources and is used for fuel,

tools, and furniture, with its leaves being used to fertilize

crops), bamboo, and avocado.

Rather than being grown on single-producer estates, coffee

in the Guji Zone is purchased from nearby farmers who pick from

their back yards, where coffee flourishes wild as a cash crop

among others such as mangos and bananas. As such, farm size is

small: generally .5 hectare up to 2 hectares, which results in a

typical multi-generational family producing from one to three

(60 kilo) bags of coffee.

Unlike in many other coffee origin countries, producers do

not hire a mix of transient and year-round workers to pick

cherries. Instead, coffee farmers pick their own crops, aided by

family members. Washing stations often pay a premium to the

producer for selling ripe cherries only.

Aklilu owns a number of coffee washing stations, including

Dimtu, where this beautiful coffee lot was processed. Dimtu has

been open for one year, and sits on two hectares of land. An

Agard four-disk pulper is maintained every day in the morning

before it begins operation.

The rainy season in this part of Guji lasts approximately

from March to November, and then the harvest begins and the

washing station swings into movement and song while 180 seasonal

workers join the 8 full time employees to process coffees.

Regular price $92.50 Sale