In My Mug

Episode 468 on Monday the 30th of October, 2017. Ethiopia Ana Sora Guji Natural

October 28, 2017
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This is the second year of us having coffee from Ana Sora and has become something very beautiful. This coffee represents lots of time and energy working at the farmers gate in Ethiopia; not only that, but the coffee is the only private estate from which we have ever bought in Ethiopia. Add to these points the fact that it's one of the most unique coffees I have ever tasted, and you can understand why I’m excited.

This private farm is owned by Israel Degfa, a second generation coffee grower from Ethiopia. The farm covers 250 hectares, only 150 of which are currently producing coffee; however, it is estimated that the remaining 100 hectares will be in full coffee production by 2018.

Situated alongside the river Turo, the farm currently only produces natural process coffee. However, in future the farmers will take advantage of the water source and the planned increased production capacity to begin producing coffee processed by the "washed process" method. Israel plans to build a processing station on his land by 2018.

It's a brand new farm, only formed in 2013, and it's located at a whopping altitude of between 1,900 and 2,350 metres above sea level. It is unusual to find private farms of 250 hectares in Ethiopia, and even more unusual to find them at such high altitude. The high altitude helps with the slower maturation of the coffee cherry, and gives more time for the plant to develop.

Coffee growing is popular in this area, and Israel also sources coffee from the surrounding area populated by smallholder farmers who speak Oromife and are of Oromo ethnicity. Israel believes in helping these farmers through education in husbandry and also through financial assistance.

Cherries are hand-sorted for unripes and overripes before they go into floatation tanks, where the cherries are covered with water. Any cherries that float are removed. Whole, ripe cherries are then dried in the sunshine on raised African drying beds, which are laid out on hessian cloths for about 15–18 days depending on the weather conditions. The cherries are covered with plastic or shade nets during the midday heat and at night.

This is a unique coffee, certainly for its cup profile but also because of the cherries that contribute to the coffee.

In the cup expect an amazing Ethiopian natural that's so very similar to the Parma Violet sweets I loved as a child, while also being one of the cleanest naturals I’ve ever tasted. Blueberry juice! It's so floral that it's bigger than the biggest bouquet of violets I can imagine. This is a truly special and unique cup from a special and unique coffee bean.

  • Country: Ethiopia
  • Area: Guji zone
  • Nearest town: Yirgacheffe
  • Farm: Ana Sora
  • Varietal: Indigenous wild varietals
  • Processing: Natural
  • Owner: Israel Defga
  • Founding year: 2013
  • Altitude: 1,900 – 2,350 m.a.s.l.
  • Producer type: Estate
  • Farm size: 250 hectares, of which 150 hectares are coffee.