With Autumn very firmly heralding its arrival, a wee taste of Summer is always welcome and this Ethiopian coffee provides just that. With a lovely peach fruitiness and a zingy traditional lemonade lingering finish, this coffee really does make us hark back to balmy summer days before we hunker down for Autumn proper.
About Genji Challa:
Genji Challa is the sister washing station to the more famous Nano Challa, It was established in 2019 just a few miles away from Nano Chall which was established in 2004. The station was born out of a need for more space: the membership grew and volumes of cherry being delivered became too much for the capacity of Nano Challa station alone. There are now over 600 members split between the 2 sites. It is situated in the Ethiopian highlands in natural forest. The success and growth of Nano Challa received a boost in 2010 when they were chosen to be part of the Technoserve Coffee Initiative alongside other remote farming communities in Jimma. The Initiative was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Technoserve provides technical assistance and training to producer groups and helps coordinate agronomists and business advisors to help improve coffee quality, assist in the management of debt, reinvestment and the fair distribution of funds to each crop member. The impact of the initiative has been huge, helping cooperatives like Nano Challa transition from natural processing to washed via the building of washing stations. This assistance has allowed these copoeratives to completely change the market and quality they had access to and the premiums asked for Grade 1 Ethiopian Sociality Coffees.
The Farmers who use Genji Challa and their coffee:
Farmer members cultivate coffees at altitudes between 1850 and 2100 metres above sea level and have around 3 hectares of land each, on average. As is the case across Ethiopia, most of the coffees grown locally are organic by default and consist mostly of old, naturally indigenous heirloom varieties, punctuated by smaller areas of an improved native varietal called 1274.
Once producers deliver coffee to the washing station, cherries are floated before being depulped using a Penagos Eco Pulper. The coffee is then soaked in clean water in concrete tanks for 8 hours before drying, firstly skin-dried and sorted under shade, before being sun-dried for approximately 10 days on raised African drying beds.
(Information and images courtesy of Falcon Specialty)