Tasting Notes: Blueberry, Peach, Honey
Roast level: Light
Farmer: Gatame Muka Community
From the roaster: This crown jewel natural-processed coffee is the combined product of three farmers from the Gatame Muka community in Shakiso, which fuses the seductive aromatics of Gedeo zone with candylike cup structures, tangy lactic acidity, and, in the case of the best sundried coffees, mouthwatering tropical fruit. This particular lot from the Gatame Muka farmers shows a range of syrupy textures and fruit flavors. It’s also one of the year’s very first Grade 1 natural arrivals from Ethiopia.
It’s hard to convey the sense of sublime remoteness unique to the forests of Guji. The sheer natural immensity of the canopy, the heavy quiet of the forest floor, the treetop civilizations of colobus monkeys and thick-billed ravens chatting about overhead. The landscape here is part natural artifact, part testament to human perseverance. The Guji people have long waged all the weapons of custom, legislation, and outright social unrest in the name of preservation.
Just recently, the communities in the Odo Shakiso woreda, home to the three farmers whose coffee comprises this coffee, successfully protested and blocked the renewal of one of Ethiopia’s most lucrative gold mines, citing equal damage to the land and public health and forcing a national conversation about the impact of the billionaire-run company in charge. The Guji peoples’ value for natural heritage expresses well in its agriculture management, too. To win a permit for building a coffee estate, it’s not enough to be organic; the business plan needs to include forest preservation and community investment as well.
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