This Ethiopian Limu Blend decaffeinated coffee is a blend of three single origin arabica coffees.
Derived from Amharic language, Buftu Gudina means 'ray of development' The cooperative was established in 2012 and is located in the Agaro - Goma woreda (district) within the Jimma zone. There are about 150 smallholders in total. Located near Jimma town, the co-op benefits from high altitude and rich fertile soils. The surrounding area is green and lush.
The coffee at Bufta Gudina is processed using the washed method. At the washing station, cherries are sorted by hand for the unripe and over-ripe fruit prior to entering the hopper that feeds the Penagos eco-pulper. Afterwards the beans are soaked in clean water in concrete tanks for 8 hours. Waste water treatment relies on a natural form of filtration through a vetiver grass plot before it goes in to the pits and finally the ground. The beans are then sun dried for 10 to 14 days on raised African drying beds and carefully hand sorted again.
Biftu Gudina has a strong leadership and chairman who together with Technoserve (an NGO that supports farmers in setting up washing stations and new cooperative structures) established the cooperative. Initial funding came from Falcon Coffees. Since Biftu Gudina was established it has become famous in speciality coffee circles thanks to the incredibly complex and luscious flavour and consequently it now commands prices that farmers could only have dreamt of in the past - as much as four times more.
Duromina which means 'to improve their lives' in the Afan Oromo language, is a coffee cooperative in Southwestern Jimma Zone. Coffee has grown here for generations but was traditionally processed using the dry or natural method. Farmers paid little attention to quality control control and despite an ideal climate and altitude for coffee growing the area's coffee was synonymous with poor quality. On paper these farmers had it all: very high altitude, rich and fertile soils, Ethiopia's incredibly complex heirloom varietals and good rainfall. Year after year, farmers received low prices for their coffee, earning little income as a result. The missing link was quality control.
In 2010, around 100 local coffee farmers banded together to form Duromina. As the name suggests their goal was simple; to improve their lives. The Coffee Initiative - a project established by Technoserve and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - was influential in establishing and developing fledgling cooperatives like Duromina. With technical support, business advice and access to finance, the members aquired and installed a wet mill and began processing fully washed coffee for the first time. As part of the Coffee Initiative, Falcon acted as guarantor for 47 farming groups representing 100,000 people so that they qualified for bank loans which were integral to the project. These improvements helped Duromina produce high-quality coffee and bring new prosperity to the community.
Two years later an international panel of professional judges wouls select Duromina's coffee as the best in Africa, awarding the cooperative the top prize in the leading regional cupping competion.
Ethiopia is widely regarded as the birth place of coffee. The legend of Kaldi, the goat herder that allegedly discovered the effects of the bright red cherries growing wild in the Ethiopian forest, is pervasive. The legend likely bears some resemblance to the truth despite the dramatization added in the telling of the tale. The fact that Coffee is native to Ethiopia is indisputable and this becomes clear when one walks into the famous forest coffee plantations. Growing happily amongst the native forest are the healthiest and happiest coffee trees you’ll see anywhere in the world. Organic production is widespread in Ethiopia where in many countries this is completely unviable due to pervasive disease. It may be the diversity afforded by the forest growing environment slows the spread of disease. There are many contributing factors to the uniqueness of Ethiopian coffee from the growing systems to the diversity of varieties. The result is a country filled with coffee that is some of the best quality in the world.
Haider Abamecha has been in the coffee industry his entire life. Slowly growing his businesses over the years to become one of Ethiopia’s largest suppliers to the ECX. The farm in Limu Kossa was purchased 7 years ago as Haider realised the growing interest from specialty buyers for traceable quality coffees. The total land area of the farm is just shy of 1000 hectares with 532 hectares now in full production and certification with a further 400 hectares under development. The farm is located at an altitude of 1800 to2000 masl in a part of Limu that primarily consists of native forest reserve. Haider has maintained the natural feel of the forest by thinning the original land enough to allow adequate light through to the coffee. The diversity of birdlife, visible pig tracks and the prevalence of Colombus monkey’s crashing through the trees is proof that the impact on the natural environment is minimal.
THE SPARKLING WATER DECAFFEINATION PROCESS:
This process was first discovered by a scientist called Kurt Zosel at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in 1967 as he was looking at new ways of separating mixtures of substances. In 1988, a German decaffeination company called CR3 developed this process for decaffeination whereby natural carbon dioxide (which comes from prehistoric underground lakes) is combined with water to create ‘sub-critical’ conditions which creates a highly solvent substance for caffeine in coffee. It is a gentle, natural and organically certified process and the good caffeine selectivity of the carbon dioxide guarantees a high retention level of other coffee components which contribute to taste and aroma.
The process is outlined below:
1.The green beans enter a ‘pre-treatment’ vessel where they are cleaned and moistened with water before being brought into contact with pressurised liquid carbon dioxide. When the green coffee beans absorb the water, they expand and the pores are opened resulting in the caffeine molecules becoming mobile.
2.After the water has been added, the beans are then brought into contact with the pressurised liquid carbon dioxide which combines with the water to essentially form sparkling water. The carbon dioxide circulates through the beans and acts like a magnet, drawing out the mobile caffeine molecules.
3.The sparkling water then enters an evaporator which precipitates the caffeine rich carbon dioxide out of the water. The now caffeine free water is pumped back into the vessel for a new cycle.
4.This cycle is repeated until the required residual caffeine level is reached. Once this has happened, the circulation of carbon dioxide is stopped and the green beans are discharged into a drier.
5.The decaffeinated coffee is then gently dried until it reaches its original moisture content, after which it is ready for roasting.
There are several benefits to using this process for decaffeination:
The agent used for extracting the caffeine is entirely natural and the process can be classified as ‘organic’ due to the complete lack of chemicals used throughout. There is also no health risk by consuming coffee that has been decaffeinated in this way.
The way the process works means the other compounds in the green bean are left untouched, meaning decaffeination has no effect on the flavour and aroma of the finished product. The carbon dioxide is very selective and doesn’t extract the carbohydrates and proteins in the green bean which contribute to flavour and smell.
The cell structure of the green bean and the finished roasted bean is unchanged which is of great advantage when working with speciality coffees.
The by-products are 100% natural and recyclable.