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Introducing our new Guji, Oromia Coffee, From Our Ethiopia- Birthplace of Coffee Collection
This exceptional washed process has a classic Guji profile and will be offered for our 2021-2022 coffee season. One of our favourites from Ethiopia, Guji coffee has made a name for itself in international markets and we're not surprised! The coffee from this region is usually produced by smallholder farms and is grown at an altitude of 1,900-2,000 meters, which has yielded some exceptional results. Flavour wise ,think strawberries, sugar cane, blueberries, with hints of lime in the acidity.
(Guji Coffee -Meticulously, hand sorted at the exporters facility pictured below)
Sharing information about the people and area we source our coffee from, is at the centre of the stories we want to share with our customers and coffee community. With the launch of our Guji, Oromia-Birthplace of Coffee Collection we wanted to pause and share some interesting and notable information about the Guji Oromo people. If this is the first time your hearing the term Guji..pronounced Gu-GEE, then you’re at the right place. Let’s breakdown some important facts, Guji is a zone in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia (fun fact: the Oromia Region is responsible for approx, 65% of the coffee grown in Ethiopia). The Oromo are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, and make up approximately 40 per cent of the Ethiopian population with the primary economic contribution being agricultural – farming coffee, fruit and livestock. Oromia is settled on some of the most fertile lands in the country, and is also rich in other resources such as gold. Located in the southern part of the region, It comes as no surprise why the Guji zone produces such great and distinctive coffee varietals . The Guji Oromo people, speak the language referred to as - Afaan Oromo , which when translated means Oromo Language .
The Guji and the Borana Oromo have kept a traditional democratic system of governance + rituals used by the Oromos in Ethiopia and northern Kenya active, and are one of the few Oromo groups who have been able to practice the Gadaa system without interruption.
The Gada system regulates political, economic, social and religious activities of the community dealing with issues such as conflict resolution, reparation and protecting women’s rights. It serves as a mechanism for enforcing moral conduct, building social cohesion, and expressing forms of community culture.
In 2016, the Gada system was inscribed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as Intangible Cultural Heritage , which we think is such an honourable achievement for the Oromo people to share and raise awareness of their traditional indigenous system with the world for heritage preservation.
As a long time importer of 20+ years with experience in sourcing coffees from Ethiopia, Phyllis Johnson (Pictured below) tells us,
”Previously Guji coffees were unknown to the international world until recent years. Guji, as a region didn’t exist in the international coffee world, these coffees were combined and blended with other coffees from central-south Ethiopia and sold under the grade Sidamo. It’s nice to see the advancement in the industry and coffee company’s like Eight50 Coffee helping to expand our knowledge about Ethiopia and its coffees.”
The shift in categorizing and distinguishing Guji coffee from neighbouring producing areas has proved to be a positive move in the right direction for farmers- who have been cultivating coffee for generations, without coffee region recognition . As a roaster and coffee company sourcing and selling coffee from this region, one of the many ways we are able to honour and respect their craft is by sharing their history and accurate regional origins of the people behind the bean with the world! Putting a Sidamo label on a Guji coffee won't quite cut it for us. So what did we do...we put some Respek on their name! (IYKYK)
Check out our new Guji, Oromia - From the birthplace of coffee collection !