Excellent quality, 100% Organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified and Fairtrade, Grade A coffee from Bench Maji in south-western Ethiopia.
Roast: City (3/7) (Medium)
Tasting Notes: Red Apple, Caramel with floral and fruity notes.
Altitude: 1500 MASL
Arabica Coffee (Coffea Arabica) dates back to around 1,000 BC from the highlands of the Kingdom of Kefa, which is now Ethiopia. Around the 7th century, the bean crossed the Red Sea to Yemen and lower Arabica, where it was first roasted and brewed into coffee by Arab scholars.
Whilst Ethiopia only accounts for around 3% of global coffee production its coffees are renowned worldwide for their mild acidity, elegant floral notes and delicate flavour. Coffee is important for the Ethiopian economy too, around 60% of foreign income comes from coffee with ≈15 million people relying on some aspect of coffee production as an income. Around half of the produce is consumed by Ethiopians, whilst around 1/4 of produce is exported to Europe and the remaining quarter to East Asia and North America.
Although a lesser-known zone to the west of Djimma, Bench Maji is classically an excellent Ethiopian coffee and we chose it due to its less commercialised nature. The majority of the region produces Forest Coffee, Garden Coffee (Semi-Forest), or Wild Coffee; only the surrounding forest is managed to encourage the coffee to grow.
This coffee is from the Bench Maji Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (BMCFCU). They have succeeded in improving the knowledge and skill of the farmers in the region to give them better livelihoods, leadership, and representation for better negotiation of prices and market linkages. Established in July 2005 by 14 founder-member primary cooperatives, the union now consists of almost 5,000 cooperatives, producing over 13,000 metric tonnes of premium grade coffee every year.
The BMCFCU ensures a rigorous 6-step sorting and preparation process with state-of-the-art machinery and trained sorters. This means that only the highest quality beans make the cut. Their excellent quality control procedure and endless work in the region has allowed them to become Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance Certified and 100% Organic Certified in both the EU and USA. This is truly a brilliant coffee you must experience.