Producer: Ture Waji, Eegata Alaka, and Fedhesa Wodessa - in collaboration with farmers in the kebele (community) of Raro Nansebo.
Region: Uraga, Guji
Elevation: 2,000 -2,200 m.a.s.l.
Varieties: JARC Selections & Indigenous Landraces
Harvest: December- January
Raro Nansebo is a kebele (small community) in the Uraga district of Guji. This selection comes from farmers that harvested and turned in their coffee cherries to a natural processing site run by Ture Waji and Eegata Alaka. This site was established 2019, when Ture and Eegata worked together with their company's third partner, Fedhesa Wodessa, to invest in this area- which is the second area in Guji they have established a processing site.
Ture Waji, Eegata Alaka, and Fedhesa Wodessa are from the same extended family, that is very well known in Guji for coffee. Much of the family has been in Guji for generations, and are known for setting up some of the large semi-forest coffee estates in the area that first put Guji on the map for quality in the early 2000's.
When Ture, Eegata, and Fedhesa set out to partner together, they knew that family, and the quality coffee their extended family was known for in Guji was going to be at the heart of their company and that they had a high bar to meet. In 2018, the idea for their company that they had been talking about came alive when they established Sookoo Coffee, and hired a great team consisting of many of their family members to run operations all around Guji and in Addis Ababa.
Sookoo means "gold" in the Afaan Oromo language, and is a small reference to the fact that the region of Odo Shakisso is very famous for it's gold mining. To Ture and his partners, though the the name more represents that while they are from this area famous for it's mining of gold - that their gold is actually the coffee.
The first year Sookoo Coffee operated they focused their efforts in the region of Odo Shakisso. In Odo Shakisso they set up a natural processing site and worked with a few other single producers in the area to export coffees. In the 2019/2020 season, they expanded their operations to the region of Uraga in Guji and set up a second processing site in the kebele of Raro Nansebo. These two sites have focused on super clean natural processed coffees, but these two sites are not all Sookoo Coffee has in their future plans. Sookoo Coffee has already planted a medium sized farm in the sub-kebele of Okolu in Odo Shakisso, and plans on working with more farmers in Odo Shakisso, Uraga, and more areas in the future.
Raspberry, Floral, Tropical Fruit
Coffee cherries are laid out in thin layers and dried on raised beds for approx 15-21 days depending on weather. During this time the coffee cherries are constantly turned throughout the day to ensure even drying. During the initial drying all under-ripe cherry is sorted out.
Coffees from Guji, in southern Ethiopia used to be classified and sold as Sidamo. However, over the last decade, the region of Guji has been recognized more and more as a separate producing area (as it should be). In addition, Guji and in particular the woreda (district) of Uraga, has become some of the most prized areas for coffee quality in the country. The high consistent elevations in Uraga, coupled with the predominance of well known JImma Agricultural Research Center coffee varieties- Bishari 74110 and 74112 and unique Local Landraces - the coffees in Uraga tend to be very dense with explosive flavors.
While there are pockets of forests in the region of Uraga, much of the area has lost a lot of the dense tree canopy over the last half century, mainly for the use of the land for pasture and growing foods crops. Coffee producers in Uraga, are mainly what are known as garden farmers, which means they have a few hectares around their homes, with a some shade canopy. Some producers here may have cut back some underbrush underneath a healthy dense canopy (that was fully forested at one point) to create a what is known as a semi-forest production system, but there is no truly forested coffee production in Uraga. (at least that we at Atlantic Specialty are aware of.)
One unique aspect of Uraga is that much of the coffee is very new, with many farms having trees that are less than 10 years old. In addition to the young coffee trees in the area, farms in Guji tend to slightly bigger than other areas like Sidama or Gedeo, as the population is less dense and coffee in general is newer to the area.