Our trip to Ethiopia in 2016 was marked by detailed research. After criss-crossing Lim, Yirgacheffe, Sidama, Harrar and Keffa, we decided it was time to head to the little-known Guji region to find a new source of great coffee.
The village of Shakisso became the base for our week-long trip around the region. From Shakisso we headed to the mountains to find quality coffee with dry processing. In Guji, dry processing is the right choice because the local water contains a lot of mercury, which is a result of intensive gold mining.
The local forests, in which wild coffee trees grow, literally captivated us. Our guide was Wadessa, the elder of Shakisso village and one of the best suppliers of local coffee.
Dambi Uddo lies within the Guji Highlands, which is located near Shakisso.
Wild-grown coffee offers the perfect biological and genetic diversity of the coffee plant and the forest itself. There are an average of 10-15 species of trees in the local forest, which give the coffee a special natural aroma of wild ginger and the most exotic honey aroma of the thousands of other species that our roastery owner, Charles, has tasted so far. Harvesting wild coffee also supports the local forest tribes economically.
In 1995, at the age of 17, Wadessa was forced to drop out of high school to join the army and complete his military service. After his return in the late 1990s, the political situation was such that he could not continue his studies.
He therefore started working in one of the gold mines in the Guji area. He decided to invest his savings in coffee. In 1999, he founded the first company with friends, which he managed for several years. In 2012, Wadessa Yachisa formed a new company, Guji Highland Coffee Plantation PLC, with other members of his family. Now they manage 150 hectares of land. They also work with local farmers who supply them with raw cherries.
This coffee is processed using the dry method and offers very balanced flavors. It stands out for its strong syrupy body with mild lemon acidity and flavors of molasses, ginger, blackcurrant and jasmine.
Local support of La Boheme Cafe
La Boheme Cafe took the opportunity to support and sponsor a school operating in the middle of the local coffee forests, which impressed the local elders so much that they appointed Charles as Shakisso village elder.