Out of a desire for forest conservation after a bushfire, Tesfaye started Suke Quto Farm which is currently Organic and Rainforest Alliance certified. It was possible to conserve the forest by distributing coffee and shade tree seedlings amongst the local community. He recruited 150 out-growers who replanted the forest. With this, Tesfaye accomplished his dream with Suke Quto Farm: developing environmentally friendly coffee while sustaining the local community with a consistent income. The local smallholders harvest organic coffee and deliver it to Suke Quto Farm for processing.
Tesfaye Bekele is the man who put Guji specialty coffee on the map! While Guji was dominated by cattle farmers, he sought new ways to make coffee more popular in Guji. “I don’t consider myself to be a coffee farmer. Because, coffee is everything to me, it is more than a job. All my time and energy are placed into the beans that I harvest and process,” Tesfaye Bekele explains.
Tesfaye took upon him the task of distributing large amounts of coffee seedlings among the community. He rented a big truck and started to divide this evenly. “People started to ask me how long it would take before this crop starts to yield cherries. I answered, ‘four to five years’, (and) they gave the seedlings back to me after hearing this.” Disappointed by the local community, Tesfaye reserved a piece of land – with government money – to prove that his idea was a valid and healthier alternative opposed to other crops.
Tesfaye appointed several managers to overlook his nurturing ground, but all found the job unappealing due to the years without results. He could not find people who were eager to continue this, so he resigned and became a coffee farmer. After his first harvest, the community – that rejected the idea of coffee cultivation – returned to Tesfaye. “First, they run away, but later they came back and asked me to provide coffee seedlings. I am very proud of this idea because all the farms you see today in Guji are inspired by the Suke Quto Farm.” Tesfaye is the innovative force of Guji!
It is widely known that Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee. It consistently yields flavor profiles that aren’t found anywhere else in the world. The varieties have been there so long that they have all cross pollinated to the point of being fully heirloom. They are only just now spending the time to categorize the varieties that are found there. The varieties found in this coffee, Kurume and Welicho, have been discovered as a part of that process.
In Suke Quto, we are tasting fresh peach, white grape, lemongrass, orange blossom, cream, and honey. This coffee has a luxurious mouthfeel and sweetness that give a great structure for these flavors to flourish.
Farmer: Various small farmers
Farm: Suke Quto Farm
Region: Guji, Oromia
Altitude: 2200 MSL
Varietal: Kurume, Welicho
Taste: Peach, strawberry, lime, bergamot, honeydew, sweet cream
Aromatics: Peach, bergamot, lime
Acidity: Bright, juicy
Recommended Brewing Methods:
19 in 300 out
Medium coarse grind
In the hot cup, this coffee is exploding with an array of fruits and florals including peach and orange blossom. It feels as if every moment the coffee is in your mouth a new flavor pops in and layers on top off the rest until they all get swept away by a wave of sweet cream. As it cools, the citrus comes for its time to shine with its striking lime and orange notes and bergamot aromatics that give you the feeling you are in an orchard in the middle of spring.
- Fruit Tonic
- Orange Scone
- Lemon Sorbet
- A chilly morning on the front porch