Since 2012, the Guduba wet mill has been operating in the Hambela Wamena region of Guji. Coffees from this area used to be marketed as Sidama coffee, a reflection of the larger region that had gained early fame for quality from coffee importers in Europe, but as coffee production becomes more precise, smaller and more unique lots more specific to their region have gained better recognition.
Hambela Wamena borders the Gedeb region of Yirgacheffe, and coffees here are grown at extreme elevation. This particular washing station worked with 589 coffee farmers this year, most of whom has a 1-2 hectare coffee garden near their residence.
The sweetness and florality of this coffee comes from the high elevations slowing coffee growth, the indigenous coffee varieties which have grown wild and have naturally crossbred for thousands of years, and the traditional washed processing methods of Ethiopia, which see the coffee submerged for up to 72 hours during fermenta- tion. These inherent factors give coffees from Ethiopia a leg up when it comes to quality, but working with an expertly managed mill, owned by Eyasu Worasa, allows for the potential for quality to be filled.
When the price paid for coffee increases, the wet mill can afford new improvements which help increase the amount of coffee that the wet mill can buy from the local garden-style farms. In some instanc- es, having available funds directly influence the ability to produce high quality coffees in larger quantities, expanding opportunities for farmers to sell their coffee at specialty prices rather than commercial prices.