Cupping coffee is the way we judge the quality but knowing a coffees path to the cupping table can also tell us a lot about the quality even before we cup. Every year, more and more coffees sourced from the Guji zone have captured the attention of coffee experts and at Royal we have come to expect spectacular coffees from Guji even before we cup them. But it would be silly to suggest that coffee from Guji simply falls from the tree and lands exquisitely on a cupping. We think part of the Guji reputation rests with the suppliers who bring the coffee to market.
This Ethiopia Guji 3 Natural is a prime example of a coffee with exceptional supply chain value because of Royal’s perennial relationship with Testi Trading PLC, a family owned export company known for sourcing specialty coffee from Oromia growing region of Ethiopia.
Faysel A. Yonis, the founder of Testi trading, owns and operates several washing stations located within the Guji Zone, including Sawda near the town of Shakiso. More than 750 coffee producers with average plot sizes of five acres deliver their ripe cherries to the Sawda washing station where the cherries are meticulously sorted and floated before being placed on drying beds for 15 to 20 days. Raised beds are carefully constructed to ensure proper air circulation and temperature control, for optimal drying. The cherry is covered during the afternoons to prevent harsh drying in the intense sun. Testi Trading also operates their own warehouse and dry-mill where the same focus on sorting and quality control is executed through to the final export stage.
As a family owned business, Testi Trading emphasizes social impact throughout the supply chain. On a regional level, Testi has invested in more localized cherry collection sites to reduce the transportation cost for small producers. Testi also established a program called Project Direct, which funds community projects, the most recent of which was construction of two primary school in Guji. Project Direct’s next step is to create direct scholarship funding opportunities for roasters to support higher education for students in the Guji Zone.