Farm – Ethiopia Biftu Gudina
Owners – 150 smallholders
Altitude – 1900–2000m
Region – Jimma, Western Ethiopia
Process – Washed & Sun Dried on Beds
Variety – Various Heirloom varieties
Derived from Amharic language, Ethiopa Biftu Gudina means “ray of development.” The cooperative was established in 2012, and is located in the Agaro – Goma woreda (district) within the Jimma zone. There are about 150 smallholders in total. Located near Jimma town, the co-op benefits from high altitude and rich fertile soils. The surrounding area is green and lush.
The coffee at Ethiopia Biftu Gudina is processed using the washed method. At the washing station, cherries are sorted by hand for unripe and over-ripe fruit prior to entering the hopper that feeds the Penagos eco-pulper. Afterwards the beans are soaked in clean water in concrete tanks for 8 hours. Waste water treatment relies on a natural form of filtration through a vetiver grass plot before it goes into the pits and finally the ground. The beans are then sun dried for 10 to 14 days on raised African drying beds and carefully hand sorted again.
Ethiopia Biftu Gudina has a strong leadership and chairman who together with Technoserve (an NGO that supports farmers in setting up washing stations and new cooperative structures) established the cooperative. Initial funding came from Falcon Coffees. Since Biftu Gudina was established it has become famous in speciality coffee circles thanks to its incredibly complex and luscious flavour and consequently it now commands prices that farmers could only have dreamt of in the past – as much as four times more!
An interesting feature of this coffee is its varietal. This coffee is mainly an improved native varietal called 1274, but also a mix of Ethiopian Heirloom. Ethiopia, being an “origin of all origins”, has hundreds of heirloom varietals. This is the first time for us, tasting this Ethiopian varietal 1274.