Ethiopia is widely regarded as the birth place of coffee. The legend of Kaldi, the goat herder that allegedly discovered the effects of the bright red cherries growing wild in the Ethiopian forest, is pervasive. The legend likely bears some resemblance to the truth despite the dramatisation added in the telling of the tale. The fact that coffee is native to Ethiopia is indisputable and this becomes clear when one walks into the famous forest coffee plantations. Growing happily amongst the native forest are the healthiest and happiest coffee trees you’ll see anywhere in the world. Organic production is widespread in Ethiopia where in many countries this is completely nonviable due to pervasive disease. It may be the diversity afforded by the forest growing environment slows the spread of disease. There are many contributing factors to the uniqueness of Ethiopian coffee from the growing systems to the diversity of varieties. The result is a country filled with coffee that is some of the best quality in the world.
Gidey Berhe is the owner of Limu Kossa Agro Industry PLC. It’s not a very catchy name for a coffee farm, so our importers decided, with his blessing, to name the coffee after the man himself. Located far in the West of Ethiopia in an area known as Limu Kossa. Gidey farms his coffee on a 350 hectare farm that sits at 1840-2130 meters above sea level. The farm is meticulously maintained, from the trees to the signs dividing the lot sections. The land was once wild forest and has been thinned slightly to accommodate the coffee, but the feeling of quiet solitude pervades amongst the native trees.
The coffee is picked by 400 seasonal workers employed during harvest season. At the farm’s collection station, green cherries are sorted out before their bags are weighed for payment. The green cherries are dried as naturals and sold to the local market.
The mill processes around 20,000kg of cherry per day during the peak of the season. The natural process coffee is dried for 24 hours under cover before being placed in the full sun for a further 7-10 days.