Check out our Guide to Ethiopian Coffee Grades
500 smallholder farmers organized around EDN Ethiopian Coffee
1900 – 2300 masl
Local arabica landraces and heirloom cultivars
Buku Sayasa community, Hambela District, Guji Zone, Oromia Region, Ethiopia
Cold fermented natural dried on raised beds
October - December
This is a smallholder-grown, centrally processed natural from western Guji zone. The Hambela district is well-known for excellent coffees and this lot, from coffee growers in the Buku Sayasa community, is no exception. It is also one of Ethiopia's highest elevations where coffee is grown.
Welcome to Guji Zone
Ethiopia’s Guji zone is a distant and heavily forested swath of land stretching southeast through the lower corner of the massive Oromia region. Guji is heavy with primary forest thanks to the Guji tribe, a part of Ethiopia’s vast and diverse Oromo nation, who have for generations organized and legislated to reduce mining and logging outfits in their area, in a struggle to conserve the land’s sacred canopy. Compared to other coffee-heavy regions, large parts of Guji feel like prehistoric backwoods. Coffee farms in many parts of Guji begin at 2000 meters in elevation and tend to climb from there. The highland farming communities in this part of the country can be at turns Edenic in their natural purity, and startlingly remote.
EDN Ethiopian Coffee Export PLC
This lot comes by way of the independent Benti Nenka processing site owned and operated by EDN Coffee Export PLC, who manages various processing sites throughout Sidama, Gedeo and Guji zones. EDN’s founder, Michael Gebreselassie, spent many years living in the United States (and working at the Port of Oakland, one of the busiest coffee ports in the country) and watching the popularity of Ethiopia’s coffee continue to grow. Feeling certain that the supply chain could be improved at the farm level, Michael founded EDN in 2018.
The coffee itself was grown in Buku Sayasa, part of the Hambela Wamena district in western Guji. Once collected the cherry was transported to a nearby processing site in the community of Benti Nenka. The Benti Nenka site receives cherries from farms up to 2300 meters in elevation, some of the highest in Ethiopia, and indeed the world. Roughly 500 coffee growers contribute coffee cherry to Benti Nenka for processing.
Processing at Benti Nenka
EDN's Benti Nenka station dried naturals slowly and intentionally with the goal of 15-20 days for the process to complete. Drying cherry is consistently rotated and, during the hottest mid-day hours (and overnight humidity), the cherry is covered to prevent damage from the extreme elements. Moisture meters are used to monitor progress, and dried cherries are removed from the tables when the moisture content reaches 11%.
Despite being a young company, EDN has already begun investigating novel processing equipment and techniques. The company is experimenting with an electronic color sorter for precise cherry selection, something that has existed as a prototype for a number of years but has yet to really penetrate into the producer industry. In addition, the company is working with honey processing and anaerobic fermentation, and temperature control techniques across their processing sites, continuously chasing a portfolio of coffee profiles they believe will best serve their farmers and help the industry achieve new ideals.