Tasting Notes: Peach, Rose, Vanilla
Region: Bensa, Sidama, Ethiopia, Africa
Producer: Bekele Belachew
Growing Elevation: 1,900 MASL
Variety: 74110, 74112, Heirloom
This is one of the lots that have come from a group of small farmers in the Sidama region of Southern Ethiopia. With the changes to export laws in Ethiopia, small producers are now able to market their coffee directly, but this is still very challenging, and few have access to capital to make this happen. This group of farmers in Sidama all have between 3 and 12 hectares and all have their own export licenses. However, this year they have assigned Buriso Amaje as their group leader, and he coordinated the milling and export of the coffee alongside the Falcon team in Addis. Since these producers are small, their main limitation is cash flow, so Falcon pre-financed the coffee in order to ensure they weren’t forced to sell their coffee locally for cash. This group of farmers have already shown they have amazing potential, and Falcon Coffees are developing even more training for farm management, picking, processing and drying.
Bekele Belachew is the owner of a 6 hectare coffee farm in the Sagara village in the Bensa district of Sidama. Bekele and his six children and wife do all of the work on the farm, where they compost and add manure and have started pruning their trees. The coffee is grown under the shade of native forest. Bekele and his family grow the 74158 and 74160 varieties which are both selections from the Jimma research centre. These varieties were selected from wild plants in the Metu-Bishari forest in the Illuababora zone in Western Ethiopia. They’re widely distributed varieties across Ethiopia and were selected for their resistance to CBD and high yield. These two selections are known to have very pronounced citrus and floral notes, which are prized by coffee buyers.
All of Bekele’s coffee is picked by himself and his family and then processed and dried at their family home. Like many small producers in Ethiopia, Bekele is still producing only natural coffee, since that is the tradition and they don’t have access to a pulping machine.