Guji is a sub-city of Sidama in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) in southern Ethiopia. Sidama is home to several of the best known sub-areas in Ethiopian coffee. Rather than coming from individual larger farms like many coffees in the Americas, most coffees from East Africa are compiled from many small producers harvesting both wild and cultivated coffee. The coffee cherry is delivered to a local washing station for processing, and eventually graded and sold at a central government-run marketplace, the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX). Most ECX coffees are sold under wider regional names, but higher scoring coffees from certain sub-areas like Guji are labelled for better (but not perfect) traceability..
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Ethiopia Sidama Guji, from BeanFruit Coffee Company in Flowood, Mississippi. Feel free to pull up a chair.
origin: Siadama, Guji, Ethiopia
producer: smallholder farmers
elevation: 1900 – 2000 meters above sea level
cultivars: Ethiopia Heirloom
process: fully washed, raised bed dried
The aroma of this Ethiopia Sidama Guji is pretty mild, but sweet. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, white chocolate, citrus, stone fruit, some faint florals… It’s reminiscent of creme brulee.
The coffee’s flavor follows its nose and, again, it’s pretty subdued. A medium-bodied coffee with a thinly creamy mouthfeel, the first flavors I’m tasting are those sugar brownings I detected in the aroma, though not as many; now I’m only tasting the caramel and toffee. As the cup cools off, the coffee becomes a bit more involved as juicy citrus and stone fruit flavors flesh out; tangerine, nectarine, peach, Granny Smith apple, and apricot round out the coffee (which has actually become more buoyant in mouthfeel at this point). Even the white chocolate I detected in the aroma makes an appearance as it cools, and the cup concludes with a floral/spicy finish of cinnamon, anise, and honeysuckle.
BeanFruit Coffee Company’s Ethiopia Sidama Guji was one that took me a few brews to get just right, and I’m still not sure I got it perfect. But, hey – that’s the magical thing about coffee; the journey is the reward.
This coffee was one of the more complex offerings I’ve had from BeanFruit. It was mild, sure; but it was complex, and pleasantly so. Creamy, juicy, and buoyant; sugary, fruity, floral, and spicy. Particularly as the coffee cooled off, it was actually a clean and refined cup, too.