Classic, round, fragrant, complex. Flavours of black tea, lemon, peach, spice, jasmine
Kaffa: Arabica coffee’s birthplace and original habitat. Here in the lush montane cloud forests in the Southwest of Ethiopia, is a land of immense biodiversity and contains the greatest genetic diversity of coffee. Thousands of native varieties grow wild in the forest understorey, situated between 1000-2000m. Indigenous communities have been utilizing wild coffee for centuries, and coffee is a central element in Ethiopian culture.
Ethiopian coffee has been a requisite offering for Caffe Fantastico since its infancy. Having visited Kaffa in 2008 we recognized the significance of this culturally rich and important coffee producing region. To this day its coffees continue to captivate us with their myriad of flavour and fragrant complexities. This trip has led to strong trading relationships whereby we have been able to get closer to the source with each year, leading to ever more traceability- a rare thing when it comes to Ethiopian coffee. This year we are pleased to offer this special washed process lot from Tega & Tula farm, right down to the specific subplot.
The farm was established in 2000 by Ahadu Woubhset, an entrepreneur and a founding member of the executive team at the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange in the nation’s capital. He left the ECX and invested in some land with the vision to produce high quality coffee in an environmentally sustainable and economically viable way, while contributing to the local community. He found his perfect spot-a 500 hectare pair of farms in the heart of the wild Kaffa forest. Ahadu renovated the existing farmland and planted specific lots by variety and particular location to be able to offer a spectrum of fully traceable coffees, a rarity in Ethiopia.
This particular block is called Kasha, and is an 86.92-hectare subplot located in Tega farm. It is the highest elevation area on the farm, and has produced coffees that have won African Fine Coffee Awards in past years. It was planted and/or renovated in 2000, 2001, and 2004, and has 74110, 74112, and Yachi coffee varieties. Both 74110 and 74112 were developed by the Jimma Agricultural Research Center in the 1970s, bred for their profile as well as for their resistance to disease, pests, and drought. Yachi is part of a "highland specialty group" of cultivars and was selected in 1975 from the Jimma zone: It takes its name from the place where it was discovered. It was released in 2006 for use as an improved variety and is considered a good producer at elevations above 1,750 meters.
Ahadu is committed to supporting the wellbeing of his chosen community and Tega & Tula has made a significant positive impact. It now employs nearly 50 permanent full-time staff while the harvest season can see as many as 350–400 workers at its peak. Ahadu trains and pays his pickers considerably better than the local average—investments that have lead to longtime relationships with the employees who happen to be Ahadu’s neighbors.
Another focus held by both Ahadu and his partners is the conservation and protection of the environment in which Tega & Tula operate and thrive: The farms are surrounded by UNESCO forests and is home to an incredibly diverse range of animals and plants that represent the rich and vibrant landscape of this area of Ethiopia.