Prepare yourself for a coffee like no other. . .
Our Ethiopia Sidamo Oromia is a light body coffee, with a sweet, flowery aroma. While it is one of our lightest bodied coffees, it is one of the most aromatic. We often refer to this as the Earl Grey of coffees because of its lovely perfume aroma and tea-like aftertaste. Unique among all coffee. We have been sourcing this coffee continually since 2001.
The Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Co-operative Union was founded in 1999 by 35 small certified organic cooperatives. Its members are indigenous farmers located in the vast Oromia State of southern and southwest Ethiopia which produces 65% of the country’s coffee. The farms are located in mountainous, rainforest areas at altitudes of 1,500 to 2,000 meters where electricity and running water are rare.
The coffee grown by the founding co-ops is organic, forest-grown and bird-friendly. Its high quality is achieved through environmentally sound methods developed over generations – organic, chemical-free farming and intercropping with food crops to enhance soil fertility. The coffee bushes are interspersed with plants such as cardamom and ginger, fruits such as papaya, mangoes and avocadoes, and root crops such as sweet potatoes; acacias and oaks provide shade. The fallen leaves and decaying plant matter, along with animal manure, enrich the soil. The ripe and red coffee cherries are selectively picked by hand and processed in a clean environment to prevent contamination of the beans.Their quality was recognized with the third place award at the 2003 cupping trials of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). Varieties grown include Yirgacheffe, Limu, Sidamo and Harrar.
The average farm is about two hectares (five acres) in size and produces around 400kg of coffee a year. Farmers rarely employ labour as all the work is done by family members except at peak periods such as harvest when families traditionally help their neighbours without payment.
Oromia operates under an Auction Market Waiver which allows it to export directly to speciality markets in the US, Europe and Japan. This means it can bypass both middlemen and the Ethiopian coffee auction and therefore achieve a much higher price for its members’ coffee. Oromia provides credit facilities and technical assistance and has acquired funding from the Common Fund for Commodities to set up a cashew nut project to diversify incomes.