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Harenna Forest Wild Coffee - Slow Food Presidia
Foto di Paola Viesi

Harenna Forest Wild Coffee


Ethiopia is the country where coffee originated and the only place in the world where you can find plants in a wild state. For thousands of years families have roasted 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: guests are welcomed by a woman in charge and a carpet of freshly cut grass and flowers spread before a small table holding the traditional, small, handle-less 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 then poured into a
jabana, the traditional coffee pot, full of boiling water. The first coffee (abol), already sugared, is served first to the oldest person. The next two (tona and baraka) are then made by adding water to the jabana. 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 Ababa. Here, at an altitude of around 1800 meters, an arabica coffee grows spontaneously in the shade of tall trees. It has an outstanding quality potential that has been little studied or developed. For the small farmers living in the area, selling coffee is the main source of income.
The gatherers harvest the ripe fruit by hand, an operation that is often obstructed by baboons.
The berries do not require stripping or washing, which are crucial stages for the coffee from Presidia in Latin America. It is a real “natural” coffee: after the berries are harvested they are simply dried in the sun on suspended nets.

The Harenna Forest Wild Coffee Presidium recognizie the value of a unique and high quality product (naturally dried wild forest coffee), shorts the production chain and protects 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 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.
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.

Production area
Harenna Forest, Dollo-Mena department, Bale National Reserve, Oromia region

Technical partner
CSC (Caffè Speciali Certificati)
100 producers gathered in two cooperatives:

Habubi Cooperative - Ibrahim Jamal

Magnete Cooperative - Mohamad Tahir
Presidium coordinator
Roba Bulga Jilo
tel. +251 911313094


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