Region: Goma, Agaro.
Co-operative: Nano Challa
Washing Station: Genji Challa
Process: Fully Washed, Dried on raised beds. Organic.
Ethiopia is the ancestral home of all the worlds’ arabica coffee and still grows wild throughout the highland forests across this incredible country. As there are still thousands of wild unclassified coffee varietals in Ethiopia most producers and roasters use the term ‘heirloom’ when describing the varieties. Coffee from Ethiopia is often recognisable by its floral aromas, varied acidic profiles and notes of black tea. There simply is nowhere like Ethiopia in the world for coffee. This coffee from the Genji Challa Cooperative is a fantastic representative of the ancestral home of coffee.
The Nano Challa Cooperative was founded in 2004 in the Agaro district in mid-western Ethiopia. Their 400 original member farmers founded the cooperative in 2010. The management fo the washing station has always been strong and therefore they succeeded to produce the highest quality from year one. Now with membership at 600 smallholders, there was a needed to expand and in 2018, Genji Chala, the sister washing station to Nano Chala was opened nearby.
This was supported by Technoserve, an NGO who supported the farmers set up the washing stations and create a new cooperative structure. The aim of the project was to increase sustainability and quality in the west, with transparent and environmentally friendly production, and increased premiums for the producers.
This went towards using eco pulpers and built water treatment systems based on Vetiver grass which naturally filter the water from production before it is pumped into lagoons to be absorbed into the earth. They also established farmer training programmes and implemented a traceability system. This funding has it helped coops like Nano Challa transition from natural processing to washed, via the building of washing stations. These allowed them to completely change the market and quality they had access too and the premiums of Grade 1 Ethiopian Specialty Coffees.
Farmer members cultivate coffees at altitudes between 1850 and 2100 metres, and have around 3 hectares of land each, on average. As is the case across Ethiopia, most of the coffees grown locally are organic by default and consist mostly of old, naturally indigenous heirloom varieties, punctuated by smaller areas of an improved native varietal called 1274. Once producers deliver coffee to the washing station, cherries are floated before being de-pulped using a Penagos Eco Pulper. This coffee is then soaked in clean water in concrete tanks for 8 hours before drying; firstly skin-dried and sorted under the shade, before being sun-dried for approximately 10 days on raised African drying beds.
Ready to ship in 3-5 business days