The Haroo Natural coffee is produced at the Haroo Waccuu washing station, which is located in Uraga, Guji, within the Oromia Region of Ethiopia. It is important to note that this area is often mistakenly referred to as Sidamo Guji, but it should be known only as Guji Zone or East-Guji. The approximately 20 farmers who deliver cherry to this drying station come from the village of Haroo, and their farms are situated at an elevation between 2,100 and 2,350 m.a.s.l.
These producers mainly cultivate local landraces from the Guji area, as well as 74110 and 74112 varieties, which are selected for their disease resistance and productivity. Sookoo Coffee, run by Ture Waji, who is also known as “The King of Guji,” processed this coffee. Ture and his company have other drying stations in Uraga and Shaakkiso, but all the stations currently produce only natural coffees. Washed coffees are planned for upcoming harvests. Ture has strong ties to the land, the community, and the farmers, having grown up in the region.
We purchased multiple lots this season from various drying stations, and all the lots offer complexity and cleanliness, with varying profiles. Sookoo Coffee’s strict drying protocols are one reason for the quality of their lots. They maintain a maximum layer density of 4cm and move the cherries around on the beds six times a day, which reduces the risk of “over fermentation” during drying and potential defects. The standard drying time for their coffee is between 21-28 days. This is the first year we purchased the Haroo coffee.
Between harvests, Ture and his team educate farmers on good agricultural practices to improve the quality of their cherries. His company also provides pre-harvest loans to farmers who need it, for instance, to pay for hired labor for maintenance on the farm, such as weeding and planting. The company employs a “woman-first” policy at the drying stations, and they have constructed a school for the children. They have also built roads to improve the infrastructure in the region.
We met Ture during our first trip to Ethiopia in 2020, where he explained to us his company’s values and mission to maintain quality, traceability, and sustainability. We decided to work with Ture, not only because his coffees are delicious, but also because of the exciting projects he has planned, such as producing washed coffees, exploring new regions within Guji, and separating single farmer lots. This is our third year working with Ture, and we are thrilled for upcoming harvests!
The cherry price for this lot was 63 ETB/kg this year, more than double the price of prior harvests.
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