ETHIOPIA SIDAMA 2 WASHED ORGANIC HUNKUTE – 33296 – GrainPro Bags – ETA: Jul 14, 2024 – RCWHSE

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About this coffee

Grower

1515 smallholder farmers organized around Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (SCFCU)

Altitude

1950 masl

Variety

Regional landraces and local heirloom cultivars

Soil

Vertisol

Region

Wonsho District, Sidama Zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region, Ethiopia

Process

Fully washed and dried on raised beds

Harvest

November - January

Certification

Organic

Coffee Background

The Sidama zone is one of Ethiopia's most productive, supplying over 40% of the entire country's washed coffee to its central market. Compared to Yirgacheffe, further south, Sidama is a sprawling and varied landscape that transitions from the Great Rift Valley to beyond 2000 meters in elevation. The Wonsho "woreda", or district, where the Hunkute cooperative is located, is in central Sidama, east of the city of Yirga Alem. Hunkute has been in existence since 1976. 

Welcome to Sidama 

The climb from the southern end of the Great Rift Valley, through Shashamene and past Awasa is gradual, and coffee trees slowly increase in frequency, large, lanky, and dusty by the roadside, many so tall they lean on the roofs of houses for support. Coffees produced in Sidama are earlier than in the far south, delicate, and citric. Sidama has one of the most exemplary cooperative unions in the country, as well as a thriving industry of independent washing stations and medium-sized family estates with export licenses of their own. 

The Sidama Union and its Coops 

The Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (SCFCU) is one of Ethiopia’s largest and best-known exporting organizations. SCFCU is robust; there are 53 member cooperatives in the union and over 80,000 member households throughout the Sidama Zone. Because harvest in Sidama occurs slightly earlier than in the more southern zones of Gedeo and Guji, the fully washed lots from here are usually the year’s very first top quality arrivals from anywhere in Ethiopia.  

SCFCU coops each carry out activities that often go unnoticed but are crucial for small producers, including training producers in best organic practices and investing in basic infrastructure needs like road improvements and establishing local warehouses. SCFCU focuses on establishing a certification process for local cooperatives, creating micro-credit for producers and investing in social programs on a larger scale. Environmental training programs, healthcare initiatives, life insurance, and educational opportunities are just some of the ways SCFCU strives to improve the quality of life for coffee producers and their families.  

Farmer members throughout the union are truly smallholders, averaging less than a hectare of coffee cultivation each, in which they also produce vegetables for the household and local sale.  

Hunkute Cooperative and Washed Processing 

Cherry is delivered daily to Hunkute where it is sorted, depulped, and fermented for 48 hours in water, which is traditionally replenished multiple times during the fermentation period to ensure clean, white, and contaminant-free parchment. Once fermentation is complete the coffee is moved immediately to raised screen tables for sundrying, where it is rotated constantly for 2-3 weeks to ensure gradual, even drying.  

The coop employs up to 80 people during harvest to manage all the daily operations of coffee rotation on the drying tables, cherry intake, station finances and record keeping, and of course processing itself.