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Coffee origins: Ethiopian Natural Sidamo

August 28, 2012

Our Ethiopian Natural Sidamo is a unique offering with a tart cherry/spicy vanilla aroma, light body and bright yet short finish that rings with hints of fruit. The taste is spicy a mixture of mild berry and subtle citrus. It is organic, Fair Trade and shade grown. It is grown at an altitude of 5300-6600 feet. The variety is Heirloom Ethiopian Cultivar, the processing method natural, and it is harvested from October-March.

This coffee is produced by OCFCU (Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union), the largest Fair Trade coffee producer in Ethiopia. ODFCU was founded in 1999 when small cooperatives in Ethiopia came together with the goal of exporting their coffee directly to the specialty market. The members are dedicated to promoting environmental stewardship and social justice in their communities. Women hold prominent positions throughout the organization, and all six varieties of OCFCU’s award-winning coffee are produced with organic techniques in bird-friendly conditions.

Member co-ops have constructed 15 schools and 42 additional classrooms with the Fair Trade premium, and four new schools are underway. In addition, member organizations have purchased washing stations for their coffee, and OCFCU has developed a fund for repairing equipment. OCFCU has provided loans to five member cooperatives to purchase eco-friendly machines to prepare washed coffee. The cooperative also encourages and supports members to intercrop coffee plants with citrus and bananas for consumption, and has distributed 200 beehives to member farmers. OCFCU has funded the construction and operation of four local health clinics and has also established 56 clean water supply stations for coffee-growing communities.

This is exactly what we love to see from our coffee origins – coffee affecting positive change, generating empowerment, and making a difference.

OCFCU actually returns 70% of its gross profits to the 115 member cooperatives that it represents. They manage to do this by cutting out many coffee industry steps – they don’t just grow and pick their coffee, they also sort, roast, and export their own coffee.

It’s a genuinely delicious coffee, but good karma and fair trade taste like nothing else.

Enjoy some photos of the Union, their growers and their successes at their website.

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