Coffee
Suke Quto - El Magnífico

Suke Quto




Cupping notes

Fruity, peachy and floral.
Well-integratedacidity. Full mouth body.

La Finca - The Farm

Put simply, Ato Tesfaye Bekele helped put specialty coffee from Guji on the map. Tesfaye began his career working in Protection of Natural Resources and Environment for the government of Ethiopia, responsible for the area of Guji and Borena. During the years 1997 to 1999, Guji was devastated by large forest fires that destroyed 5,000 acres of forest, bringing a true crisis for the people of Guji. Tesfaye had the great responsibility of rebuilding the area and finding new ways to conserve the land.

“After the forest fires, the locals returned to the land to carry out agricultural work. They started producing teff and corn, for example.” Tesfaye knew, as the region’s government official, that he could not prevent people from returning to these deforested lands to rebuild their livelihoods, but he wanted to offer an alternative. “I came up with the idea of replanting the forests and of adding coffee trees to improve diversity. Luckily, the local community accepted my proposal and asked me to provide them with seedlings”.

Tesfaye began to distribute great quantities of coffee seedlings. He rented a large truck and began allocating evenly to the community, but at first had little success. He decided to set aside a piece of land and plant a coffee nursery, with the aim of demonstrating that preserving the Guji forest was the best thing for the community.

He appointed several managers to oversee his nursery, but none took to it. A coffee tree takes three years to harvest and without fast, tangible results it was not an appealing option for them. Faced with a lack of interested staff, he decided to resign from his job and become a full-time coffee producer. After his first harvest, the community which had initially rejected the idea, returned to Tesfaye. “First, the people of the community retreated, but then they came back, asking me to provide them with coffee seedlings. I am very proud of this idea because all the farms you see in Guji today are inspired by the Suke Quto farm. ”

In 2017 Claudia Sans travelled to Ethiopia and had the great fortune of meeting Tesfaye, thanks to the solid relationship that the importer has established with producers.

“Tesfaye is one of the most passionate human beings about his work that I have had the pleasure of meeting. His eyes reflect both his passion for coffee and his affection and respect for the land. “

Process method

At the Suke Quto washing station, washed coffees are pulped with an Agared machine: a pulper without a mucilage remover. The coffee beans are fermented in tanks for proximately 35-48 hours (depending on the current climate). There are three lagoons at the station to store wastewater. Suke’s natural coffees are dried between 9 and 15 days on raised beds.
Tesfaye focuses on organic coffee and the economic growth of the community, intending that people receive a living income from the production of sustainable coffee. He also initiated a community project aiming to renovate local schools, and with a handful of dedicated coffee roasters, Tesfaye has built a new school building in the neighbouring town of Kurume.

Origin

Ethiopia is widely known as the birthplace of coffee. As early as the 10th century, Ethiopians would consume the red cherries from wild coffee trees as they passed over the mountains. From these indigenous beginnings the Arabica coffee plant has spread around the world.

Ethiopia is the number one coffee producer in Africa and the sixth in the world, accounting for almost 70% of its export revenue and creating employment for approximately 15 million Ethiopian people. There is one main annual crop that takes place between November and February. More than half of Ethiopia’s coffee is produced on small plots of land around the coffee grower’s home known as the ‘coffee garden’. Only 5% of Ethiopian coffee is produced on large estates and they tend to be low altitude plantations in the west of the country. Ethiopia makes use of both washed and natural processing methods, with a wide variety of cultivars producing some of the most magnificent and singular coffees in the world.

The Guji Zone is located in the Oromia region of southern Ethiopia. Most residents in this region are Oromo and speak the Oromo language, which is completely different from Ethiopia’s main language, Amharic. Like many of the coffee growing regions of the country, the culture of the Guji Zone varies from woreda to woreda (district to district). The main source of fresh water in the area is the Ganale Dorya River, which also acts as the boundary line to the east with neighbouring Bale.

To the west, Guji borders the southern Gedeb woreda of the Gedeo Zone in the neighbouring Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region, part of the Yirgacheffe coffee growing region.

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