The Sidama region
Washed Sidama coffee is highly appreciated by roasters and consumers all over the world. With centuries of coffee history, the Sidama region is one of the most popular and famous coffee zones of Ethiopia.
But did you know that this region hides a lot of undiscovered coffee communities, each producing beautiful coffee lots?
Sidamo or Sidama?
Although by default these coffees are named Sidamo, the correct naming of the topographical region is Sidama and its people are called Sidamo. For many decades this region was part of the South Nations and Nationalities People Region (SNNPR), but recently Sidama became independent.
Anywhere in Ethiopia you can find the typical ‘gojo bets’. Traditional huts where families create their home in rural areas. Specifically in Sidama you can find the original and beautiful gojo bets made out of bamboo. All by hand.
Hadicho and Wolebicho tribes
Over hundred years ago, the Sidamo people were ethnically divided in two different tribes. The big majority belongs still to the Wolebicho group and lives in more developed areas. You can find these groups more to the Bensa side of Sidama.
A minority of people belongs to the Hadicho group and still live in highly underdeveloped rural areas, such as our coffee community of Taferi Kela. Both the Hadicho female and male are hard workers, mostly famous because of their outstanding handcrafts in clay, bamboo and local food preparation, such as “Kojo”. Although discriminated in the past, the Hadicho group are socially well developed and are known for its multicultural acceptance of any ethnicity that wants to live in their community.
Sidama and its undiscovered coffee communities
Taking the main asphalt road from Addis Ababa to the south, will bring you in city Hawassa, formal capital city of the SNNPR. After a short coffee stop near lake Hawassa, you continue your road south. Just around the first curve you enter the typical landscape of Sidama. Lowlands of 1300 meter above sea level alternate with green highlands with an average of 2.500 meter above sea level. Covered by tropical fruits trees, you can identify the first coffee trees 5 minutes from Hawassa.
In the city Yirgalem you will continue either your road to the more famous Sidamo Bensa coffee zones or follow the road to the green highlands in the direction of Yirgacheffe region. The road curves a bit and after 8 kilometers of gravel road from the main asphalt you will find the coffee community of Taferi Kela. A woreda typed by its majority of Hadicho people, mixed with refugees that were displaced over hundred years ago to this region. With a local population of 450.000 people with more than 50% under the age of 25, the Taferi Kela coffee community belongs to one of the poorest of the coffee zones in Ethiopia.
But it happened to be exactly this Taferi Kela community that is so dedicated to create equal opportunities for their future generations through our Bette Buna concept. With the typical south-community feeling present in here we are thankful to be part of this.
Bette Buna - Taferi Kela
A kilometer from the small city administration house, you’ll find our farm- established by our grandparents Syoum and Emame. Surrounded by green mountain tops and just two mountains away from the region of Yirgacheffe we grow and process coffee in many ways.
Although our farm is located on an altitude between 1850 and 2000 meter above sea level, during the day the sun can get pretty strong. For both the well being of our workers and the right processes for our coffee, we adjust our work shifts.
A day at the farm
Together with our dedicated employees we start picking and processing as soon sun rises and finish our first batches around 11 am. On our farms we grow many different crops as shade trees, but also as a resource to offer diverse and rich nutrition meals to our employees.
Around 3 pm, when the strengths of the sun decreases, the day shift continues up to 30 minutes before sun set. Most of our employees live nearby and will walk home. The ones that live a bit further are provided with housing at our station or family building.
In the evening our night shift starts. We have different collection points in the woreda of Taferi Kela and collect in a traceable way the cherries provided by our partner farmers for our special sourced and community lots. After collecting, the cherries are sorted out and washed at our station. The lots that are already in the fermentation tanks will be put in the raise beds for drying processes by our day shift. The whole night this process continues.
The multiplied success of our nursery stations
At our farm we have four sites of coffee nurseries, where we breed infant coffee trees that are resistant to climate change and can grow in sustainable way. When we started Bette Buna we were challenged by the expensive inputs to renew some of our farm lands with young trees. Also the infant varieties that were available were low in quality and not many of our community farmers were able to purchase or even treat them.
A year ago we started a pilot with a group of young talented people of the Taferi Kela community. Growing our own coffee infants in a nursery that will be self-sustaining. The idea: growing quality inputs and make them accessible and affordable for the whole community, while creating alternative jobs for the youth in Taferi Kela.
Just a year later it is a big hit. With growing over more than 300.000 infants per year we’re able to provide accessible and quality inputs to help farmers improve their yields and quality of production in sustainable way. And on top of that we already created 45 fixed alternative jobs for young adults.
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.