ETHIOPIA | GUTU BIRRE NATURAL | LIGHT ROAST
REGION: GEDEO YIRGACHEFFE
PRODUCER: TARKEGN GUTU & GUTU BIRRE (FATHER & SON)
PROJECT : DARARO GROUP, JABANTO FARMERS COLLABORATIVE
ELEVATION: 2100 m.a.s.l.
VARIETAL: KURUME, 74110 &74112
- FILTER ROAST
FOR POUR OVER AND FILTER COFFEE
ABOUT THE PRODUCER
Gutu Birre was born into a coffee farming family and grew up helping his father on the family farm. In accordance with the tradition of Gedeo, when Gutu got married in 1960 he was given a total of one hectare of land from his family. In his long years of coffee farming journey, he has invested in quality improvement, acquisition of more lands and infrastructure. Understanding the economic importance of coffee farming—since it was the only means of income for his family—Gutu decided to expand the size of his coffee farm. Currently he produces coffee from a total of 3.8 hectares of land located in the village of Tulise in Yirgacheffe county of Gedeo Zone, Ethiopia.
His elder son, Tarekegn Gutu, has followed his father’s step and decided to quit school and started coffee farming and business. As an independent young boy, he inherited half hectare from his father back in 2010. Since then, Tarekgen has kept acquiring and contracting additional coffee farms. As of 2019/20 cropping season, Tarekgen Gutu owns a total of 4.8 hectares. He is one of the fewest young coffee farmers in the area who puts a lot of time and energy on coffee agronomy and processing to produce high quality coffee lots.
Both father and son, inherited Gedeo local landrace coffee varieties through their original coffee land. Both expanded their lands and also introduced improved coffee varieties. These micro lots are produced from the very well-known Kurume local landrace coffee variety and two other improved coffee varieties namely 74110 & 74112 developed by coffee breeders at Jimma Agricultural Research Center (JARC).
Their garden coffee production system is characterized by coffee trees grown near the home under light shade from perennial trees like Albizia and intercropped with root crops and Enset (false banana). The farms are located on a higher altitude coffee growing area in Yirgacheffe where coffee harvesting usually starts late in November as compared to the majority coffee growing areas in Gedeo where harvesting usually starts in October. The combined and interrelated effects of high altitude, superior coffee varieties, coffee processing technique and the micro/macro climatic conditions resulted in the final flavor notes of blackberry, complex fruit, lime juice, balanced acids, viscous syrupy, peppermint, spearmint, strawberry, candy, sweet and vanilla.
Jabanto farmers business group was established in 2018 with the help of G Broad. A total of 29 smallholder coffee farmers from Gedeo zone founded the group in 2018 and the size of the group kept expanding over years and as of today there 87 registered smallholder coffee farmers in the group. The group has reached a production volume of 288 metric tonnes of high quality natural and washed coffees together.
The group tries to produce different coffee types: regional lots, village level lots, single farmer lots, variety lots and processing lots. The collaboration between Bi-Lab and Co-Lab, specialized coffee laboratories owned by G Broad in Addis Ababa and Condesa in Sydney respectively, could help better define coffee sourcing approaches, quality control mechanisms, marketing and promotion opportunities for farmers. In doing so, this cropping season, i.e., 2020/21 a great amount of high quality and different coffee types were supplied through Condesa to the Australian and Taiwan markets.
SINGLE FARMERS LOTS
Single farmer lots represent the largest percentages of the product developed at Bi-Lab and Jabanto, Condesa's coffee sourcing collaborators at origin in Ethiopia. Promoting coffee lots under the name of a smallholder coffee farmer is at the heart of our business and development philosophies. Out of 87 registered member farmers in the Jabanto farmers business group, those farmers who produce an outstanding coffee with superior quality and cup score are promoted as a single farmer lot. We pay a better and higher price for a single framer lot as compared to a composite (group) lot - for example Jabanto lot. We believe that rewarding farmers for quality is a good mechanism to create competition among farmers for quality and motivate them to produce better quality coffees year after year
ABOUT THE PROCESS
Natural coffee which is also known as sun-dried and among Jabanto coffee farmers which is known as “special coffee” constitutes the largest coffee type produced in Gedeo zone.
Immediately after harvesting, overripe and insect/pest damaged cherries and other defected cherries are sorted out. Then, only well-ripen red cherries remain on a raised bed (usually called African raised bed) for further drying under the sun for 18-21 days.
A total of 11 Kg of red cherry per square meter is distributed on a drying bed
made of Bamboo mat. To maintain uniform drying among beans, the coffee is turned around on the bed manually six times per day. The cherry is then covered with nylon mesh and plastic during the night time.
Starting the 15th day, the trend of bean moisture loss is monitored to pull the dried cherry off the bed if the coffee bean attains a moisture level between 9.5% and 10.5%. This natural coffee processing technique plus the complex interactions among soil, rainfall distribution, temperature, shade, and genetic make of the varieties play the greatest role to create the unique and high quality profiles