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Gemeda Elias | Ethiopia

Gemeda Elias | Ethiopia

Regular price $22.00
Regular price Sale price $22.00
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Lifted and transparent, with great balance and structure. Apple blossom, peach and brown sugar, with a tea-like body.

This lot is made up of coffees grown and processed in the village of Anosoro, in the administrative district of Shakisso, in Ethiopia’s Guji Zone. The coffee was processed at Gemeda Elias Washing Station, which is owned by Tracon Trading, a family-owned exporting company who manage quality control at the washing station, and prepare the resulting parchment for export at an impressive dry mill facility in Addis Ababa. Gemeda Elias produces both washed and natural coffees.

During harvest, freshly picked coffee cherry is delivered daily by some 850 local coffee growers, before being processed under the watchful eye of washing station manager, Gemeda Abdi. The majority of the families who contributed to this lot farm organically on tiny plots of land, averaging just 2.6 hectares in size. Coffee is their main cash crop and grows alongside food crops of corn, grain and bananas, under the shade of native Birbira, Wanza, and Acacia trees. The average elevation of the farms in this region is very high – around 1,900–2,100m above sea level – and this, combined region’s cool temperatures, is ideal for the slow ripening of coffee cherries, leading to denser beans and a sweeter, more complex cup profile.

For many years, most Ethiopian coffees have been described as being a mix of cultivated and wild varieties, referred to as “heirloom varieties.” This is a term that is all-encompassing and used by many actors in the coffee industry to generally categorise Ethiopian coffee varieties that are from native forest origins. Whilst this describes many of the varieties found in Ethiopia, it is also a bit simplistic and does not acknowledge the varieties that are already locally recognised and cultivated, or those that have been specifically developed and widely distributed by the Jimma Agricultural Research Centre (JARC).

Sidama is home to many landrace varieties that were originally selected from the forest and have been propagated successfully for decades. There are five popular varieties that are named after indigenous trees in the area— Bedessa, Kudhumi, Mique, Sawe and Wolisho. There is little documentation on the history of these varieties, and it is hard to know if they represent a single plant or a wider group of varieties; however, it is widely accepted that they play a major role in the quality and floral flavour profile of the coffee from this region. Along with these, JARC varieties were developed using “mother trees” from Ethiopia’s coffee forests, and are now grown for disease and pest resistance, as well as exceptional cup profile, and are released by number. For example, 74110, 74112 and 74116 are all widely propagated in the Sidama growing region.

Responsibly sourced by the excellent team at Melbourne Coffee Merchants.

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