The Buki washing station is located 2km from the town of Uraga, in Guji's Oromia district of Ethiopia. Coffees from this station are delivered by local farmers daily, purchased in cherry, and processed accordingly.
Coffees in Ethiopia are typically traceable to the washing station level, where smallholder farmers—many of whom own less than 1/2 hectare of land, and as little as 1/8 hectare on average—deliver cherry by weight to receive payment at a market rate. The coffee is sorted and processed into lots without retaining information about whose coffee harvest is in which bag or which lot.
Guji is a beautifully forested area in southern Ethiopia. Before the early 2000's, this region was considered part of Sidama, but has since become its own region. The people of Guji grow coffee gardens at very high altitudes in the rich red soil of the highlands, setting this coffee's profile apart from neighboring regions. These smallholders deliver their coffee to washing stations to be sorted and processed together, developing flavors of fruits, deep chocolate, and light florals.
Among coffee-producing countries, Ethiopia holds near-legendary status not only because it’s the “birthplace” of Arabica coffee, but also because it is simply unlike every other place in the coffee world. Unlike the vast majority of coffee-growing countries, the plant was not introduced as a cash crop through colonization. Instead, growing, processing, and drinking coffee is part of the everyday way of life, and has been for centuries since the trees were discovered growing wild in forests and eventually cultivated for household use and commercial sale.
The majority of Ethiopia’s farmers are smallholders and sustenance farmers, with less than 1 hectare of land apiece. In many cases, it is almost more accurate to describe these farms as “coffee gardens” as the trees do sometimes grow in more of a garden or forest environment than what we imagine fields of farmland to look like. There are some large privately owned estates, as well as co-operative societies comprising a mix of small and more mid-size farms, but the average producer here grows relatively very little for commercial sale.
Farm: Buki Washing Station
Elevation: 2200-2250 MASL
Variety: Ethiopia Heirloom
Tasting notes: Sweet and smooth with tart acidity, jasmine, rich praline, lemon, and lime.