Super sweet and clean. Peach, agave syrup and florals. A great example of a washed Guji coffee. Better suited to filter brewing.
Tesfaye Bekele worked for the government in natural resource management for many years before becoming a coffee farmer with his farm Suke Quto which he started on a piece of land that had been ravaged by a bushfire. The farm is currently Organic and Rainforest Alliance certified. It was possible to conserve the ravaged forest by distributing coffee and shade tree seedlings amongst the local community and he recruited 150 out-growers, that replanted the forest. With this, Tesfaye accomplished his dream with Suke Quto Farm: developing environmentally friendly coffee, and sustaining the local community with a consistent income. The 373 local smallholders harvest organic coffee and deliver it to Suke Quto Farm for processing.
Suke Quto is set on gentle slopes between mountains and highland plateaus in the Guji Zone, and the farmland has dark brown, volcanic, loamy soil with rich nutrients. The elevation ranges from 1850-2200 meters above sea level. Many of the farmers who contribute to Suke Quto live in the village of Kumure, close to the washing station. Tesfaye saw a need in the community to rebuild the local school for both the workers and the farmer’s children, to give them a safe and healthy place to learn. He brought the idea of improving the school’s facilities to our import partner Trabocca and they assisted in funding that project.
Trabocca pays for the farm’s organic certification and if the quality standards are met, gives premiums under the ‘Operation Cherry Red’ program. “Trabocca is our main buyer,” – Tesfaye explains, “We sell our coffee to them every year and they are distributing it throughout the world. Trabocca is very serious about quality control and brought us to the level at which we are now, where we are very proud of our product.”
On Suke Quto no chemical fertilisers are used but instead cherry pulp from the washing station is employed as compost. They also use the natural mulch from fallen foliage and leaves, the clippings from weeding around the coffee trees, as well as the natural decomposition of other forest life. Cultivating a native crop, like coffee, that can live under a natural tree canopy allows for the conservation of a buffer to protect the overall habitat of all living things in that ecosystem.
Comprised primarily of two varietals endemic to Ethiopia Kurume and Welicho, coffee cherries are strictly harvested and sorted for ripeness, and de-pulped before undergoing a long fermentation for up to 48 hours in concrete tanks. Coffees are then laid out to dry over the course of 12 to 16 days, regularly turned and protected in tarpaulin during the mid day and during the night to ensure even and consistent drying.