- Producer Harso Haru Mude Farmer Cooperative
- Attributes Fully Washed, Bed Dried, Heirloom
- Origin Uraga – Ethiopia
- Flavours negroni, muscat grape, jasmine, dried mango
This coffee comes from the highlands of Uraga, one the key coffee producing districts of Guji Zone – itself part of “Oromia”, one of the nine ethnically based regional states of Ethiopia. Despite being only around 20 kms away as the crow flies from the famed Gedeb and Yirgachefe districts (which are actually in the Gedeo Zone, part of the “SNNPR” regional state), the profiles of Guji Zone are distinctly and excitingly different from their cousins. Different landraces (cultivars) play a large part for sure, but there’s certain of “je ne sais quoi” as well – that mysterious combination of climate, soil, plant husbandry, picking and selection, processing, and drying.
Market appreciation, coupled with changes in export laws that enable small washing stations to export in a traceable fashion, has led to a great increase in the number of washing stations in Uraga and neighbouring woredas Odo Shakiso, Hambela, Bule Hora. Most are owned by family coffee businesses, connected to their own export interests. These export businesses enable valuable US$ ingress, fuelling growth for these same businesses on the import side. Coffee sales literally fuel the import of building materials, consumer items, and more.
Every coffee has a path to market, and it happens without us: who are we to misrepresent our understanding of the many layers, our connection to the contributors from cherries through export logistics, our influence, our buying power?
The number of hands is many, and we cannot hope to exert the same influence over quality assurance and logistics as we can in other countries in which we work. Nor can a foreign company set up an export business in Ethiopia (as we have done in Colombia). Therefore we must partner wisely to ensure we get the coffee we select and that the impact of our purchase is as positive as possible. While in the past we have purchased Cooperative coffees directly from the big (and small) export Unions, as well as from a bunch of small estates or private exporters, this season we have elected to partner with Ethiopian national Ephrem Beyene.
About the name and general traceability: “Harso Sala” is the name of kebele in the north part of Uraga, among perhaps 10 washing stations clustered around Uraga’s main town Solemo (Layo Tiraga is perhaps the best known neighbouring washing station). This coffee was exported by Haileselassie Ambaye Deres, via Ephrem Beyene. The FOB price was $2.75 USD/lb though we’d have been happy to pay more if we knew the premium would get paid to farmers or would contribute to meaningful social projects. We are planning towards agitating for this when harvest commences again in November 2019.