Coffees from the Jimma region of Ethiopia often get a bit of a bad rap. They usually aren't the superstars that we find in Yirgacheffe, Guji, or Sidamo. Fortunately, even the 'next best' region in Ethiopia produces better coffee than pretty much anywhere else in the world, and it's more affordable to boot! This might be one of the only current crop Ethiopians you're going to find out there for under 9 quid, and the flavour won't disappoint! Notes of lemon, lime, and apricot.
We sourced this coffee with our friends at Falcon coffee. We're really proud of the partnership with them on sourcing Ethiopian coffees, and you can read more from them about the Jimma cooperative below.
The Jimma Farmers Multi-purpose Agricultural Cooperatives Union, located in Jimma Town, Ginjo Guduru kebele, Ethiopia, was established to support smallholder farmers in the Jimma Zone of Oromia. This coffee is from Ayiso Lemi, one of the smallest cooperatives in the Union. The Union provides Cooperatives and producer groups with training and technical assistance on sustainable agriculture practices, financial management, marketing and export services for their coffee. They also offer production support to farmers, helping them access the necessary resources to grow and harvest their crops successfully. The Jimma Union promotes environmental conservation and implements organic sustainable practices that promote soil health, water conservation, and biodiversity. Under the instrustion of the Union, cooperatives now create organic fertilizers using animal manure and discarded cherry pulp mixed with lime- these fertilizers are then distributed to farmers at the end of each season.
Coffee trees are grown under a natural shade canopy created by other crops like false banana, which also provide a habitat for birds and other wildlife. Farmers use only organic fertilizers at the base of their trees, ensuring that coffee cherries are not exposed to harmful chemicals. The coffee production process in Jimma is meticulous and involves several steps. Farmers handpick only the ripe red cherry and process it by floating it in water tanks, where it is separated by density and quality. After this, the cherry is depulped mechanically, washed again, and then fermented in water. Once the fermentation process is complete, the coffee is sun-dried on raised beds, allowing for even drying and better quality. After the coffee is fully dried, it is packed and transported to a dry mill near Addis Ababa, where it is prepared for export. This includes sorting the coffee by size and quality, removing any defects, and ensuring that it is properly packaged for shipping. The Union has been instrumental in driving up quality in the Jimma zone, providing education and awareness about environmental protection to their members and the wider community and finding an international market for smaller cooperatives, such as the Geruke Mazoriya, Ayiso Lemi Cooperatives and Bikilka Ibso Coop who have benefited greatly from their support.
The Jimma Union provides these cooperatives with technical assistance, training, and access to markets and certifications for their coffee products, helping them implement sustainable farming practices that promote soil health and biodiversity, leading to increased crop yields and improved livelihoods for the farmers. Falcon Coffees has been partnering with the Jimma Union for two years to bring this to the global market.