Locality: Agaro Gera
Producer: Limmu farmers Cooperative Union
Washing Station: Limmu
Altitude: 1900 - 2200 meters
Process: Washed, dried on raised beds
Varieties: Ethiopian Landraces
Tasting notes: Mango, rose, kumquat, candied ginger
In the highlands of the Jimma zone of western Ethiopia is a group of cooperatives called the Kata Muduga Cooperative Union, centered around the town of Agaro. The kernel of Kata Muduga was created about a decade ago when USAID’s Technoserve project, whose focus was on improving the lives of African coffee farmers by helping them get better prices, established the first washing stations in the area. Until then the coffee grown in the forests of Agaro was mostly produced as low-grade naturals, flowing into the market at low prices with no distinction or differentiation. Nano Challa, Duromina, and Yukro were among the earliest cooperative washing stations to be built, and for the first time the singular character and unique micro-regional qualities of these coffees were on display. While each coop produces a distinct coffee, they are unified by their honeyed sweetness, bright citrus, ripe stone fruit, and clean elegance. Their memberships have grown dramatically as the promise of better prices has been realized and new washing stations continue to be built to accommodate the increasing demand.
Nano Genji is the new sibling mill of Nano Challa, one of the most coveted coffees of the Kata Muduga family and all of western Ethiopia. Nano Challa has done such a great job producing quality coffee that the high premiums they’ve been receiving has caused massive swells in their membership, pushing their volume beyond the capacity of just one washing station. They opened Nano Genji last year a few miles deeper in the forest with brand new equipment and drying beds to accommodate the growing membership. We are fortunate to take full advantage of the deep roots between Kata Muduga and our sourcing partners at Red Fox Coffee Merchants, whose relationship together goes back to the first year of the Technoserve project and has grown stronger every year since, allowing Red Fox to have their pick of the very best lots the cooperatives have to offer each harvest.
On the cupping table we tasted a bright and refreshing coffee with notes of plum, tropical fruit like mango, rose, kumquat, and candied ginger.
This is our third year sourcing coffee from the Kata Muduga Union through Red Fox Coffee Merchants, and our second year buying Nano Genji. We wrote a forward contract in the height of the harvest to buy 15 bags from Kata Muduga, split among a few different lots. Our friend Joel Edwards at Red Fox Coffee Merchants sent us a pre-ship sample of this lot to fill part of that contract. We scored it an 89 and purchased 5 60kg bags for $4.35/lb EXW. On the day we signed this contract the Coffee Commodity price was $1.05/lb.