Our first natural Ethiopia this year is from Buno Coffee Trading. The latter acts as a specialist exporter overseeing the operation of seven well-located washing stations in Guji in southern Ethiopia. This area located at an impressive altitude of over 2,000 metres above sea level uniquely influences the coffee growing environment and creates ideal conditions for growing exceptional coffee beans. The presence of young, vigorous coffee trees whose gradual maturation process contributes to the development of coffee beans known for their distinctive and delicious taste which appeals to coffee lovers around the world contributes to this attractiveness. The charm of the area is further enhanced by the painstaking efforts of the hard-working local growers. These dedicated individuals tend their coffee trees amidst the hills on the outskirts of the villages representing a harmonious coexistence between agriculture and nature. The shade provided by the Cordia Africana Acacia and Albizzia trees not only protects the coffee trees but also contributes to the unique character of the beans.
Established in 2018, Buno Coffee Trading has embarked on a journey under the leadership of Mr. Abiyot. He oversees the selection of partner farmers cherry processing and drying procedures ensuring a meticulous approach to quality. Buno’s focus on working with farmers who farm plots ranging from 8 to 15 hectares allows it to better manage the process of improving quality and creating individual micro-locations that highlight the distinctive flavour of each producer.
Buno’s approach is based on a sense of partnership and shared values. Farmers who choose to deliver fully ripe cherries after harvest are rewarded with a premium of one birr (17 cents) per kilogram of cherries. In addition Buno supports farmers in the off-season by providing them with a line of credit for harvest-related expenses. Aa loan that is deducted interest-free from their final payment once the cherries are collected. The story of this exceptional lot is the result of the work of nine skilled farmers each overseeing an average of six hectares these farmers are young and willing to explore different ways of processing coffee. In this case they have shared the risk and bet on processing part of their production in what is known as the Wine Process.
It all starts with the ripening of the cherries. These are deliberately left on the bushes to ripen and accumulate a higher sugar content. The fully overripe cherries are then hand-picked from the bushes. And they are dried for only a day in the sun. They are placed in tubs for the night. This method also includes the patient fermentation of the cherries. This takes about 30 to 60 days. The cherries are gradually transformed into raisins. And the kernels are gently removed from the cherries with a depulper as we are used to with the dry method. The grains are then dried again to reduce their moisture content to the required 12 to 14%.
Buno recognizes their hard work by offering a farmgate price that is now between 70 and 90 Ethiopian birr per kilogram of cherries reflecting their valued contribution. In the midst of this lush area the coffee thrives under the protective canopy of native shade trees including hardy acacia and wanzas.
Our baristas’ notes: It’s great juicy espresso. It’s beautifully steady and doesn’t jump on the grinder. It stands out for its dense sweetness. The body is dominated by berry notes which gradually blend into a strong chocolate flavour with light alcohol undertones. We found the espresso to be the best at 1:2.12 on slightly faster times. The milk is dominated by a sweetness reminiscent of nougat. There was no need to shorten the recipe into the milk.