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 dramatization 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 unviable 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.
Haider Abamecha has been in the coffee industry his entire life. Slowly growing his businesses over the years to become one of Ethiopia’s largest suppliers to the ECX. The farm was purchased 7 years ago as Haider realised the growing interest from specialty buyers for traceable quality coffees. The total land area of the farm is just shy of 1000 hectares with 532 hectares now in full production and certification with a further 400 hectares under development. The farm is located in a part of Limu that primarily consists of native forest reserve. Haider has maintained the natural feel of the forest by thinning the original land enough to allow adequate light through to the coffee. The diversity of birdlife, visible pig tracks and the prevalence of Colombus monkey’s crashing through the trees is proof that the impact on the natural environment is minimal.
Processing involves traditional disc de-pulping followed by a 72 hour fermentation and 18 hour soak. Coffee is sun dried for 7-10 days on raised African beds.