Harenna Forest Wild Coffee Ethiopia
Ethiopia is the country where coffee originated and is therefore the only place in the world where you can find plants in a wild state. For thousands of years each family has roasted its berries, ground them in a mortar and offered coffee to guests following a solemn ritual involving symbolic displays of hospitality, friendship and respect.
The preparation of coffee―an integral part of daily Ethiopian life―is an atmospheric traditional ceremony covering all social classes: the guest is welcomed by a woman in charge and by a carpet of freshly cut grass and flowers spread before a small table holding the traditional small handleless cups. The shelled coffee beans are washed and roasted until they are the right color and then shown to the guests. A coffee aroma permeates the air, aided by delicate hand movements. The powder obtained after grinding the beans in a mortar is poured into a jabana, the traditional coffee pot, full of boiling water. The first coffee (abol), already sugared, is served to the oldest person, then the next two are made (tona and baraka), by adding water to the jabana as required. The three coffees are served with corn, wheat or toasted barley.
The Harenna forest, one of the largest in Ethiopia, is situated in the mountains of the magnificent Bale National Park, 350 km south of the capital Addis Abeba. Here, at an altitude of around 1800 meters, an arabica coffee grows spontaneously in the shade of tall trees. It has outstanding quality potential which has been little studied or developed. The small farmers of this area mainly live on selling coffee which is their main source of income.
The gatherers harvest the ripe fruit by hand, an operation which is often obstructed by baboons, which are very greedy for them.
The berries do not require stripping or washing, which are crucial stages for coffee from Latin American Presidia. It is a real “natural” coffee: after the berries are harvested they are just dried in the sun on suspended nets.
The Harenna Forest Wild Coffee Presidium was established in 2006 as part of a project organized by the Italian Development Cooperation. The objectives include recognizing the value of a unique and high quality product (naturally dried wild forest coffee), shortening the production chain and protecting the equatorial mountain forest. In supporting the work of small-scale coffee gatherers and producers, it will be possible to increase the number of local people interested in protecting the forest from illegal tree felling and also create a network of people guarding against illegal felling in the territory. Over the last few years, the Presidium has helped the producers to improve their harvesting technique and initial processing phases.
In 2009, the Presidium gathers from four villages set up three registered associations. In 2011, the Presidium strengthened the structures for drying coffee, promoted it on the local and international market and provided new commercial outlets to the producers’ associations. In 2011, the producers’ associations became members of the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, a commercial cooperative through which the Presidium Coffee will be exported. Harenna Forest Wild Coffee received the Slow Food Presidia logo in 2012.
Harenna Forest, Dollo-Mena Department, National Reserve Bale, Oromia Region
CSC (Caffè Speciali Certificati)
Presidium supported by
Italian Cooperation for Development
132 producers gathered in three cooperatives:
tel. +251 912825912
tel. +251 920092653
tel. +251 910823998
Roba Bulga Jilo
Tel. +251 911313094