Ethiopia Bench Sheko 3 Natural – 28564 – SPOT RCWHSE

Position Spot

Bags 293

Warehouses Oakland

About this coffee


Smallholder farmers in Bench Sheko


1650 – 1880 masl


Local landraces and indigenous heirloom cultivars




Sheko district, Bench Maji/Bench Sheko zone, South West Ethiopia Peoples’ Region, Ethiopia


Full natural and dried on raised beds


October - December



Coffee Background

The Bench Maji zone, in Ethiopia’s far southwest, was until recently part of the country’s Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region—shared by other powerhouse zones like Sidama and Gedeo. The zone was not quite synonymous with the others for production and quality, but nonetheless has for many years had a reputation for stability and predictable cup profiles. In 2021 a successful referendum established a new, separate region comprised of Bench Maji and a few surrounding zones, and is now known as the South West Ethiopia Peoples’ Region, complete with a local party leader and newly-drawn administrative zones. Bench Maji itself now has a new name: Bench Sheko. But the “Bench Maji” image and reputation still persists in the coffee world. 


This lot is a blend of smallholder farmers with memberships in various local associations. The exporter of the coffee, Gende Kore Coffee PLC, has relationships with smallholder associations throughout the area and regularly produces lots like this one by selectively blending washed or natural outturns to fit a particular grade. Contributing farmers come from within the Bench Maji Coffee Union, the Sheko Amora Gedel Coffee Union, and the Sanka Multipurpose Coffee Union. Picking is carried out individually by farmer members and cherry is collected by the associations, inspected for maturity and cleanliness, and then taken directly to raised beds to dry. Each association averages 250 farmer members and each station averages 100 staff to assist with the rotation of drying cherry and covering the tables at night to protect it from excess humidity. Drying typically takes 21 days to complete.