Coffee, this amazing raw material that we humans have enjoyed for so many centuries. It is difficult to describe the extent to which it has affected humanity, so many people who are in any way come into contact with this raw material, through hard work on a farm in southern Ethiopia, on a boat leaving a port in Indonesia, by having a roster in another place in the world a mush test, or a person sitting on a bench and looking out over the sights and drinking a cup of coffee. This coffee, this wonderful raw material is originally from Ethiopia, the absolute origin of the coffee. There is something particularly interesting about the absolute, it wakes our curiosity! Let us try to get us a slightly more nuanced picture of this absolute, and this time with the focus of coffee.
Text : Eskil Edblad
Photo : Jonathan Lockstbom
In southern Ethiopia, in the region of Oromia, the Oromia people have lived in many hundreds of years. One of the Oromia areas has been named Guji, after one of the tribes of Oromia. The Oromia people have a wealth of culture. They have many customs and ceremonies. This people started using the coffee berries as a fruit, this long before it was understood that it was possible to use it in the way that we are using it today. They had the coffee berries crushed, mixed them with fat, and in that way they would have added to the energy bars of our present energy bars.
What is of concern is that this people developed a coffee ceremony where, in principle, all most of the steps in the coffee chain, washing, sorting, sorting, roasting, grinding, grinding and grinding are going through. The final brewery is in the classic Ethiopian brewery Jabanan. This reverence for the coffee is beautiful and is a good reminder that we are going to make time for the coffee brewing, not to rush, to reflect on how much work has been done on these coffee beans and to try to process them with respect and care.
Let's get back to Guji, here is the place where conditions are optimal, where the Oromia have always used coffee, they've never had to plant any coffee trees for here they've always grown wild, and this is fantastic! One of the people from this anrika of peoples came to place Guji on the international coffee map, namely Tesfaye Bekele. So who is this man, and how did this happen when he became a coffee-eed?
Tesfaye is an adult in the countryside in the province of Guji. He grew up in simple circumstances in a coffee-producing family. So he got in young years straight into the craftsmanship of the coffee, though, it was initially nothing to tempted him. He chose the studies, and this led to the latter being educated to the agronom. In turn, this training led to the work of the Ethiopian government on environmental inspections as the main task. He was later assigned to carry out his work in Guji. At the end of the 1990s, Guji was subjected to violent fires and large areas were devastated. Tesfayes was tasked with rebuilding this area. He used to replant trees along with coffee bushes, in order to increase the diversity. This project, he was actively trying to get the people to be a part of it ; first it was not received well, many expressed regret that it took too long to get some crops out. The lamb of the train wasn't with the people who lived there. Tesfaye was stubborn and chose to end his service with the government to start his own farm, Suke Quto in Shakiso, and in that way show that this was the right way to go. His plan worked, his farm was a successful example, and people have since started setting up farms all over the Guji with Suke Quto as a role model.
Johan & Nyström's relation to Ethiopia :
Our relationship with Tesfaye Bekele is stretches back from here to 2012. We have visited him several times in the Guji and years of this year for years to build even more closely together. The relationship is important, it makes it more than just a purchase of raw coffee. We are creating a long-term relationship and transparency is increasing. It also gives a deeper insight into what the effects that even buy are creating. For example, our business relationship has led to the fact that Tesfaye has been able to give money to the construction of a school in the neighbouring village of Kurume. Something we put very great on is to be able to tell us about Tesfaye and all the wonderful details of our customers and our guests. To tell Mr. Bekele about our relationship with Mr. Bekele makes the coffee experience so much bigger, it creates a whole that's hard to beat.
Suke Quto-a unique location
Suke Quto is not like any coffee cake, a great reason for this is the place, the absolute cradle of the coffee. To completely understand that, you need to go there and see how incredibly ideal relationships are in this area. It is the absolute opposite of an industrial plantation.
The coffee tree may grow here in a forest with a shadow tree, a rich animal life, where the soil is spropped green by various plants, the soil is volcanic, and trees that are dead may remain and become part of the cycle, as I have said, entirely idealistic conditions. Even though nature itself is sufficient to develop the coffee, the Tesfaye uses a system called semi-forest coffee (SFC), which is a system where the forest is maintained in such a way that the coffee trees develop in the most optimal way possible. Examples of this include the fact that Tesfaye is galling away certain trees competing with the coffee tree but, to a very limited extent, time is also spent on grassland clean-up and planting of new coffee trees. It could be said that Tesfaye is carefully directing the forest to make it even more optimal for coffee production. This type of cultivation accounts for about 20% of the ways in which coffee is produced in Ethiopia.
In order to give a more nuanced image of other culpable cultures in Ethiopia, the forest garden (FGC) and the garden coffers (GC) were also included. These 'styles' are different from the semi-forest coffers in the sense that they affect the natural risk to a higher degree than in SFC. The FGC is the most common in Ethiopia, which is approximately 30%.
Yearly cycle and climate
It is interesting to look a little closer to the Ethiopian culture cycle. There are three of them, and they are called Bega, Belg and Kiremt. It goes from October to January / February. This is the long dry season. It is during this season that you take care of the harvest and the process of the coffee. During this period, a certain precipitation may occur.
Belg extends from February to May. This period can be seen as the first-stage of the longer and intensive rainy season. During this period, smaller quantities will be reduced. It is during this period that the coffee flower is blossoming, pollination and the first phase of the coffee-bearing development is carried out.
In this period, this period runs from June to September. This is the major main rain period. During this period, the end stage for the development of the coffee shop is. When Kiremt goes over to Bega, the final part of the rigging stage is taking place.
Unfortunately, as regards the climate in Ethiopia, there is no exception to the negative climate changes we have seen in recent years. The temperature has increased in combination with a decrease in rainfall in some areas. Unfortunately, it looks as if the temperature increase will not decrease, but will increase further in the future. As far as the scenario of preciptions is concerned, it looks slightly brighter, but you never know.
Tesfaye is working on the welicho/wolisho and Kurume varieties, which are so called regional country races, these diversity has been taken in wild state from the forests, and then adapted to coffee farmers different types of coffee farms. These two varietets are common in the south of Ethiopia. In Ethiopia, there are about 130 cultivars of this kind.
These varietets shall contrast with those developed by JARC, the Jimma Agricultural Research Center, and these are called 'the' coffee 'goods', of which there are only about 40 of them. These were developed in the 1970s because of the coffee diseases that were becoming more frequent in the 1960s, and then the varietets that were resistant to these diseases were needed. So when you buy coffee from Ethiopia, both the types of goods are present. Some of the so-called regional land races are more common in specific areas. These varieties are not as resistant but as a flavour, I would argue that they are of a slightly higher flavour, but that is to be said for itself. If we stop and look closer on welicho and kurume, they've both got their names of native tree types in Guji, this mirrors in a way that respect you show the nature, trees is more than just trees for those who live there, you can see the names of the variety of planets as a tribute to nature.
Tesfaye is always impressive with his coffee production, and we always look forward to receiving Welenan's home. It's very special to drink the first cup of the year's crop. The typical Ethiopian cup with its inviting playful fruity, which varies from year to year to varying its fruity screw.
If we are to dare to sum up the factors of the exceptional coffee quality in Ethiopia, I would look at the following elements.
- Nature is ideal for coffee production, the genetic diversity that has evolved over such a long time is phenomena.
- Most coffee producers work very small-scale, exploit the resources that nature gives, bearing in mind that nature gives such an exceptional character in Ethiopia, they do not need to use fertilisers or pesticides in general.
- This in combination with producers like Mr. Bekele, you get a very good final result.
The future with regard to coffee production in Ethiopia is full of challenges. First of all, we must point out that this production represents a total of 30% of the country's exports and that the whole of 15% of the population is working in this sector.
A 2014 study highlighted the fact that areas suitable for the production of coffee can be halved from 2050. In a newer study so from 2017, it highlights the fact that 59% of the country that is fit for coffee today can be useless at the end of the century. This is very serious and we can only hope that the negative scenarios do not break in without the finding of ways of preventing this very negative development.
Despite gloomy forecasting, there is hope and it is the great areas of Ethiopia at higher altitude (over 2000), which makes people feel a little hopeful about the future. If we manage to move coffee production into these areas and develop them properly, then this fantastic coffee culture will certainly live on. Then, hopefully, Tesfaya's family can continue to produce the amazing coffee and we on Johan & Nyström continue to process these coffers and to provide you with an unforgettable coffee experience.