Ethiopia Sidamo Natural Guji Cooperative
About Ethiopia Sidamo Natural Guji Cooperative
Arrived May 2011, new crop. Winner of mutliple awards including 1st place in a recent Eastern African Fine Coffee Association's "Taste of the Harvest" Competition, which is how we discovered it. At a presentation of the competition's winners we cupped this coffee, were struck by its mouth-filling fruit, and endeavored to contact the exporter in Ethiopia. An importer subsequently brought this coffee into the US where it is now gaining more fans. This coffee is collected from local farmers and brought to the Guji Mill for processing. This is a natural, unwashed coffee meaning that ripe cherries, after harvesting, are left to sun dry on raised African beds and no washing nor fermentation is employed.
The mill, owned by Girma Edema, is located in the Guji area of the Sidamo zone. No matter how you say it the taste is distinct, a pronounced lemony and fruity coffee. Last year's coffee sold out quickly and this year high quality Sidamo naturals are difficult to come by.
This coffee has some special character because:
- Only the ripest cherry is harvested and it is spread on raised beds the same day.
- Every two hours the cherries are moved, for at least 15 to 17 days, to ensure uniform drying while on the beds.
- Extra steps taken in sorting the coffee after it is hulled.
This coffee differs from other dry-process Ethiopia coffees, which are often picked at the end of the crop, bagged prematurely before being properly and fully dried. Often those coffees are dried on the ground rather than on raised beds, which provide cleaner, better aerated drying.
Ripe cherries sun drying on raised beds
Single origin espresso candidate: This coffee is a good choice as a single origin espresso and, in fact, is such at several well known coffee companies and espresso bars. A light roast and proper espresso extraction will bring out much of the delicate and complex fruit this coffee offers.
True specialty coffees from Ethiopia have been harder to get the past two years as regulations of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) have temporarily shut down some arrangements that existed prior to its inception. Guji is similar in cup character to several other, very hard to get coffees including Idido Misty Valley which will not be available in 2010, and, Amaro Gayo Organic, which should arrive at our warehouse sometime in late May, early June.
Cup Characteristics: Very lemony and fruity coffee with complex and layered structure. Floral and berry flavors and fragrance. Vibrant, distinct cup.
Roasting Notes: Lends itself to a variety of roasts. At City+ the lemony character is best preserved, but as you roast this coffee a bit darker, it will present more body and chocolate mouthfeel. You may wish to experiment by taking the roast to the outset of second crack. Buy enough to try a variety of roasts. We are always interested in your feedback.
Behmor users: This is a small bean and some may fall through older style large grids when roasting. We have not found this to be a problem with the small grids, which have been standard issue with the roasters since November 2009.
Ethiopia coffee facts:
Population (2206): 75 Million People
Domestic Consumption: 1.5 Million bags per year
Coffee Export: 1.5 Million Bags of 60 Kg. (132.29 lb.)
Cultivated Area: 400,000 Hectares (988,000 Acres)
-- Unwashed: October to March
-- Washed: end of July to December
Arabica Introduced: The birthplace of coffee. Oldest
recognized country of origin for uncultivated Arabica species.
331,130 (94%) Smallholdings (less than or equal to 2.47 acres)
19,000 (6%) Government
Washed: Sidamo, Yirgacheffe, Limu, Bebeka
Unwashed: Harrar, Sidamo, Djimmah, Lekempti (wild coffee
Botanical Varietals: Numerous indigenous cultivars.
About 50% of the coffee produced in Ethiopia is consumed there as the population has a rich coffee drinking culture, replete with ceremony and tradition.