This lot has 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.
Buriso Amaje is a naturally processed coffee with a clean, fruity profile. It is named after the farmer, and Dambi, the name of the village where his farm is located in north-west Ethiopia. The lot numbers refer to drying stations on the farm – Buriso has two sites on his 10ha farm. 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 has 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 prefinanced the coffee in order to ensure they weren’t forced to sell their coffee locally for cash. This group have amazing potential and this year we are seeing some of that, but with the help of Falcon’s agronomist we plan to train them on farm management and picking, processing and drying. The coffee is grown in fertile loam soil at 1950-2200masl and is interplanted with other trees, such as enset (Ethiopian or ‘false’ banana), avocado, Albizia and Sesbania, which provide shade. The farm also has cattle.
Buriso Amaje is the leader of the group of these farmers and is a leader in the community. Buriso has 12 hectares of coffee in the Dambi village in the Bensa district of Sidama. The coffee is grown under the shade of native forest. Buriso grows 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 give a high yield.
At harvest, only the fully ripe red cherries are picked. These are then hand-sorted in flotation tanks before being carefully dried for 18-20 days on African raised beds, with a gradual increase in thickness – starting at single-cherry thickness and ending at 10cm for the last two days of drying. The cherries are turned every hour during the drying process in order to control the fermentation and to create uniformity of taste across the lot. The moisture level is measured before the coffee is moved to the warehouse.
Buriso is strict on his cherry selection, ensuring that the coffee is as high quality as possible. The coffee is processed and dried at Buriso’s family home. Like many small producers in Ethiopia, Buriso is still producing only natural coffee, since that is the tradition and they don’t have access to a pulping machine.