Region: Sidamo Guji, Southern Oromia
Owners: 550-600 small producers of the Xade Burqa washing station
Altitude: 1,950 – 2,000 metres above sea level
Variety: Bourbon, Typica, Heirloom Varieties
Fruity and intensely sweet. Strawberries and cream. Floral and fragrant.
ABOUT XADE BURQA (with thanks to Melbourne Coffee Merchants)
Xade Burqa (pronounced “Te-diye bur-qa”) originates from the Shakiso District in the Guji zone of Ethiopia’s Southern Oromia State.
Processed at the privately owned Xade Burqua washing station, coffee cherries are produced and delivered daily by around 550-600 small producers. The majority of producers farm organically on small plots of land (averaging 0.7 hectares) at 1,950-2,100 metres above sea level.
ABOUT THE GUJI REGION
Coffees from Guji were previously classified as ‘Sidamo’(a very wide geographical classification encompassing much of central-south Ethopia), however more recently they have been separated from this classification and recognised for their unique and distinctive cup profile. Coffees that are classified as ‘Gujis’, originate from the ‘woreda’ (administrative regions) of Adoola Redi, Uraga, Kercha, Bule Hora and Shakiso (where this lot is from).
Guji is named after the Oromo people, a tribe with a long, proud history in coffee production. Most communities in the region still live rurally and make a living from farming. Families usually live in modest homes (often a single round mud hut) and farm plots of land to grow both cash crops and food for their own consumption. Coffee remains the main cash crop for most families in the Guji region, who typically half a hectare to 1.5 hectares of coffee planted alongside food for consumption and other cash crops such as the Ethiopian banana.
This coffee is a blend of local varieties collectively known as ‘Ethiopian Heirloom’. All of these varieties are Arabica and most originate from a Typica predecessor, but with wild mutations that result in some exceptional and unique flavour profiles
This lot is classified as Grade 1, indicating that only superior quality coffee cherries from the Xade Burqa Mill have been selected and processed. This results in a premium coffee product.
Ethiopia has one main annual coffee harvest across all growing regions, occurring from November to January. To ensure only the very ripest cherries are selected, at least four passes are made during harvesting.
This coffee was processed using the natural method, a complex process requiring a high level of attention to detail. Ethiopian coffee has been processed this way by generations of farmers who have mastered the art of the natural method over centuries of tradition and experience.
Each day, carefully hand-picked coffee cherries are delivered to the Xade Burqa Wet Mill where they are hand-sorted to remove unripe or damaged fruit in order to enhance the quality and sweetness of the cup.
The coffee is then graded and spread evenly on raised screens to sun dry. Initially, it is laid very thinly and turned regularly to ensure consistent drying and prevent over-fermentation. When the coffee reaches 25% humidity, the layers of coffee are gradually increased, yet are consistently turned, remaining covered at the middle and end of the day to protect from extremes in temperature. Careful attention during this turning and drying phase ensures the coffee is stable; this enables a clean and balanced cup profile. After 6-8 weeks, the coffee has reached the ideal moisture level and is then hulled and milled to remove dried skin and parchment.