The northern tip of Uraga is on the same latitude as the town of Yirgacheffe, and is also just on the opposite slopes of the high elevation mountains found in the district of Bule in Gedeo. The Yirgacheffe coffees on the western slopes that border the high peaks of Bule are renowned for their quality, and it is no surprise that the high peaks just off the eastern slopes of this ridge in Uraga produce some of the most impressive coffees from Guji as well. Feku Jabril, who grew up in Gedeo, realized the potential here, and set his sites on this area of northern Uraga before this area was well known.
Feku not only was visionary for starting in northern Uraga, but Feku is well known for his different mindset when it comes to coffee processing. While most washing stations in the country are run based on loose systems and standards, Feku operates his site like an engineer. The precision that Feku operates his site with is no doubt what makes Yabitu Koba an almost unmatched coffee in the region.
The Jabril family grew up in the town of Dilla, a town that borders the Sidama and Gedeo regions in southern Ethiopia. Living in this area of southern Ethiopia, coffee is a way of life. Here, a huge percentage of the population drinks coffee everyday and many are entrenched in the coffee industry itself; as farmers, traders, and labors that are picking and processing coffee. Coming from a family with a history in coffee already, it is no surprise the Jabril brothers; Feku, Adbi, and Kadir were drawn to it as well.
The eldest of the 3 brothers, Feku Jabril, was the first to really recognize the the area of Uraga in Guji as a place of great potential. When farmers in the region started planting more coffee in the early 2000's, Feku went to Uraga to work for washing stations as a person to collect coffee cherry and bring it in for processing to those sites. After his initial time in Uraga, Feku owned and ran his own site called, Senkole Hora, which was a large coffee processing site in the very northern tip of Uraga. A few years later, in 2014, Feku stopped operating the Senkole Hora site and put all his energy into a new site named Hana Asarat, in the kebele (community) of Yobitu Koba.
Abdi Jabril, who is a few years younger than Feku, was inspired by his brother's operation, and started running his own washing station in Larcho Torka in eastern Uraga.
Abdi and Feku's younger brother Kadir, also found Uraga to be a place of huge potential. In 2016, Kadir built his site in Wate Gogogu, a community in the far northwestern edge of Uraga.
It is remarkable for a family to have 1 site producing amazing coffees, but these 3 brothers show what is possible by bringing a level of focus that is rarely seen in the coffee industry of Ethiopia. With methodical processing and high quality standards, the coffees from this family have made a mark not only in Uraga - but have become some of the most sought after coffees from the country.
Melon, Honeysuckle, Juicy
The sweetness of this Yabitu Koba lot is what really set it a part from other Ethiopian coffees. The melon notes are like watermelon hard candy that are followed by a light sweet floral honeysuckle note. The body of this coffee is like a light fruit juice that perfectly compliments the flavors.
The Feku Jabril's washing station, named Hana Asarat, in the community of Yabitu Koba utilizes the traditional underwater fermentation popular in Ethiopia. The coffee is fermented underwater for approximately 36-48 hours, After fermentation the coffee is washed and then soaked in clean water. After soaking the coffee is dried on raised beds for approx 10-14 days.
Coffees from Guji, in southern Ethiopia used to be classified and sold as Sidamo just a few years ago, but over the last decade the region of Guji has been recognized more and more as a separate and unique producing area.
The woreda (district) of Uraga, is known for it's staggering elevations that are mostly between 2,000 and 2,300 meters, which making it a mecca for high quality coffee production. While the terrain is impressive for coffee, the ecology of the farms growing coffee in Uraga is often misunderstood. While there are pockets of forests in the region of Uraga, it is often misrepresented that farmers are growing coffee in the forests. Coffee producers in Uraga, are mainly what are known as "garden" farmers, which means they have a few hectares around their homes, with some amount of shade canopy, but these farmers are not cultivating coffee IN the dense forests of Uraga.
Many of the areas of Uraga, are relatively new to producing coffee, and certain areas have coffee trees that are predominately 10 years old or even less. As the farms here are newer than other areas of southern Ethiopia like; Gedeo or Sidama, and the population in Uraga is less dense, the coffee farms in Uraga tend to be slightly bigger at 1.5-2 hectares.
If there is one thing for certain, Uraga is an region that will continue to increase its coffee production and be recognized for exceptional coffees for years to come.