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Behind the Beans: Ethiopia Gemeda Elias Dube COE

Our Ethiopia Gemeda Elias Dube COE coffee has a unique flavour profile perfect if you want to try something a bit different to a more typical roast. A contestant at the first ever Ethiopian Cup of Excellence awards in 2020, this light bodied coffee was proudly awarded 19th place for it’s unusual rich fruity flavour including ripe blueberries, blood orange and acidic grape, complemented by sweet low notes of fudge and honey.

This coffee is produced in the Guji region of Southern Ethiopia, where fertile green land flourishes high above sea level, providing perfect coffee growing conditions at 2,000m and higher. This region was once considered part of the larger Sidamo zone, but recent years have marked it as a key coffee production location in its own right thanks to the unique flavour profiles it produces and the newly opened ECX coffee delivery centre.

Approximately 85% of modern Ethiopians make a living from growing “cash crops” (grown to sell rather for their own consumption), and coffee is one of the most common of these, usually covering at least half a hectare of a small producer’s land. Here, harvest season is in November and December, and the majority of passes will be used to harvest beans to use for washed coffee, which are typically pulped on the same day they are picked before being sorted by weight, fermented for up to 48 hours and then finally washed before being placed on raised beds to dry.

There are many great roasts that come from this area of Ethiopia, but this particular favourite of ours comes with the history of a man named Gemeda Elias Dube. Having grown up living on his father’s farm, at the age of 15, Gemeda first began helping tend the trees and learning the art of coffee production. Gifted a 7-hectare plot of land from his father at the age of 21, in just a decade, Gemeda has grown his inheritance to span an impressive 86 hectares. As well as managing his own land, Gemeda helps to manage a collective of 103 farmers encompassing a further 490 hectares of land – offering not only financial support, but also education on the technical side of coffee production, including how to ensure the highest quality. Through his own land and the small-holder farms he supports, Gameda is involved in the production of 1,340,000kg of coffee annually – a very impressive journey in only 10 years since he was first gifted only 7 hectares.

Gameda Elias Dube is made from the local variety Kurume, which is an indigenous Ethiopian varietal that's smaller in size than the typical coffee bean. This is one of many varieties descended from local landraces indigenous to the area known as JARC varieties and can be used to produced both washed and natural coffee.

 

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