Bette Buna and the Guji region
Despite Guji coffee is getting famous all over the world, it is only since 15 years that the Guji region is recognized as a separate coffee zone in Ethiopia.
East from the Ethiopian Rift Valley, you can find the Guji region, divided in Guji-West and Guji-East. Crossing small villages over rural gravel roads, interspersed with green mountain views make you mind escape.
Learn more about the social and economical traditions of the Guji people and how they’re importantly involved at our coffee farms and stations in Hambela Womena and Megadu.
Traditional leadership: Aba Geda
You can identify the Guji coffee zone from others by its original green forest hills, rich volcanic soil full of minerals (such as gold, precious stones and tantalite) and by its own cultural traditions. Guji is one of the regions inside the geographical and political Oromia Region, but is known for its traditional leadership model: Aba Geda.
For many centuries informal tribe leaders are chosen by appointed family heads every four years. The Aba Geda leads an informal court system, is the main leader to give blessings for celebrations of prosperity and mediates in case of social or economic problems. You can recognize the Aba Geda by its traditional cloths, special head, haircuts and stick.
For Bette Buna, respecting the tradition of Aba Geda is important in order to work together with all groups in our coffee community and strive to equal opportunities for everyone.
Guji East and West
The Guji region is divided in two different coffee zones with its own unique flavor profile: Guji West and Guji East. Inside these coffee zones you can find different geographical woreda and kebele, which we call ‘coffee community’. The famous coffee communities are located on the main asphalt roads in developed villages due to the trading of minerals, such as Shakiso, Kebri Mangest and Adola.
If you take the gravel roads a bit further into the original coffee hills you can find beautiful, breath taking coffee forests with milling stations on site. Although the infrastructural, social and economic challenges, it are these coffee communities that grow and process the unique and high quality of Guji coffee. And.. by default organic.
Bette Buna - Megadu
If you take the gravel road from the city Shakiso to the direction of Reji, you will pass remote villages changed by green mountain tops with wild animals. After 30km you’ll pass the last small village and you continue the rough road deep into the original coffee forests. After an hour you reach our farm in the kebele of Megadu.
Surrounded by neighboring coffee farmers we grow pretty good coffee in our ‘coffee forest farm’ in plots with wild and semi-forest shielded coffee. Beside growing coffee we produce – on a height of 6 meters tasty organic honey with flavors of coffee blossom.
A day at the farm
Together with a team full of motivated female seasonal pickers we harvest our red cherries by hand in day time. Because we grow coffee on a high altitude covered by natural shades, our harvest months are spread and more late compared to the West side of Ethiopia.
At the start of the evening the red cherries are collected from our day shift and sorted, measured and tagged by our station night shift. Early morning the cherries are processed by natural and anaerobic fermentation. After the right time of fermentation, the cherries are laid down on our raise beds to dry according to the desired cup profile. After the right moisture levels are reached, we store our cherries in shell or parchments in hermetic grain pro bags in our warehouses to rest.
As our farm is located in a remote place, we provide additional to a living wage also weekly transportation, housing and meals at our sites. Partners and children are welcome during the high season and follow distance education at our station.
Bette Buna - Womena
By continuing the road from our Bette Buna farm Megadu you will leave the Guji-East zone and enter the Guji-West coffee zone, neighboring with the Yirgacheffe region. After 65 km – or 3 hours driving – you find our second Guji farm in the small woreda of Hambela Womena.
A day at the farm
With the typical and original wild coffee forests of Guji we grow coffee on our hills, up to a maximum possible altitude of 2.178 MASL. All coffee trees shaded by natural forests, allows the coffee cherries to ripe slow with a maximum development.
In day time our Womena field team picks the cherries and delivers them at our Womena station in the early evening. Our night shift sorts out the cherries, measures them and with our post-harvests experts the cherries dive into our different fermentation process. Additional we collect cherries from our neighboring farmers for our special sourced and community lots. Day time our station day-shifts takes over and ensures the correct levels of sun drying. All our lots are stored in shell or parchment for resting time in our warehouses.
We categorize our coffee lots in four groups: farm gate lots, community lots, limited lots and special sourced lots, based on unique flavors, lot size, and consistency. All traceable back to the involved farmers.
Each lot named after a person that takes in his or her own way the responsibility of creating equal opportunities in coffee communities.
Consistend specialty coffee lots. Traceable to a single Bette Buna farm and processed at our stations. Sustainable produced in both micro and macro lots.
Macro lots of multiple small holders in the coffee community, all traceable and processed at our station. Every coffee season consistent in quality. Both commercial and specialty lots.
Year to year unique and outstanding quality lots. Traceable to single farm plots. Experimental fermentation and only limited produced in nano-lots.
We believe in collaboration. Our special sourced macro lots come from partner farmers in different Ethiopian coffee zones. Committed to the Bette Buna concept.