Very floral and soft. Reminds me of the Lilac pink flowers that i would see on Mother's day. We are really enjoying this on both drip and espresso. A little shocked on the smoothness this is on espresso! Notes of
Lilac bomb, melon, nectarine, peach, wild honey
Biftu Gudina Cooperative operates in a remote pocket of the Agaro Region in Western Ethiopia. There are no all-season roads, so as recently as 2012 farmers would walk their cherries over 5 miles to the nearest town, Beshesha. On the way, cherry would bruise, break and over-ferment, resulting in poor prices. When the Coop was founded in ’12 it immediately built a wet-mill and constructed a gravel road connecting the mill to Beshesha – with assistance from Technoserve.
Today 155 members within a 2.5 mile radius deliver cherry to their own washing station. Meticulous processing leads to a floral, bright, honeyed cup that shines as an example of world-class coffee from Ethiopia’s western frontier. Perhaps it is appropriate that Biftu in the Oromo language means morning sun and Gudina means growth/development. Whether we are talking about the cup or the community we would agree that “”bright development”” comes to mind.
Recently the coop completed its Organic Certification, funded the development of electricity, and built a kindergarten (1.2M Birr). In 2018 they sold 138,120 kg (About 8 containers) and shared a dividend payment of 2,402,896 birr to their members.
In 2009 Technoserve began working in Ethiopia, on a two-fold mission to (1) improve the value (quality) of coffees produced and (2) to make sure the farmers of that coffee were receiving a higher percentage of the value they were creating. Since 2009, 60+ washing stations have been created, alongside the ongoing field-work and support of Technoserve’s Jimma staff. The approach has been successful by all accounts. Farmers own their own equipment (financed and paid down over time), they negotiate their selling prices, and pay a small commission for processing and export (5% commission + costs). With the quality support and feedback from the Technoserve cuppers in Jimma, they grow better coffee and keep more of the value of that coffee.
Certainly, this was a delicate time and a real test. These farmers were at the top of their game from a processing point of view, but running an exporter is a different ball game altogether. Furthermore, if this new Union failed, the 90 million dollar grant and almost a decade worth of work, might be materially harmed, then disappear. It didn’t fail. It’s grown over the years, it published its second payments, it has heavily reinvested in the communities that it represents and is managed by farmers and coop leaders from the area who serve with integrity.
Kata Maduga and the coops it represents are a textbook illustration of smallholder success in specialty. Every year we wish we could find more customers for these delicate, sweet cups – knowing the rich legacy and courageous past of these producers who took their futures into their own hands.
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