Established in 2017, Kolla Bulcha Farmers Cooperative is comprised of 267 smallholders who deliver ripe cherries to local wet mills from the nearby farms.
Kolla Bulcha is one of 45 cooperatives to receive assistance from TechnoServe in the form of technology, education, market access, and washing stations – which were a revolution for this area, and gave cooperatives the ability to sell washed grade 1 coffee instead of the historically low quality,
and low price fetching natural grade 5. TechnoServe is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that aims to create market-based solutions to poverty through the Enhancing Market Efficiency and Resilience for Growing Ethiopia’s New Coffee Economy (EMERGENCE) project.
Kolla Bulcha Farmers Cooperative is a member of the larger Kata Muduga Farmers Cooperative Union, which was established in 2016 for cooperatives in the area to join forces to market and export their coffees. These unified cooperatives are redefining the coffees from this area.
Coffee farmers in Gera tend to have on average 2-3 hectrares of land – but much larger estates, that are even a part of cooperatives can be found. Unlike coffee producers in Sidama, Guji, or Yirgacheffe, farms in Gera tend to mostly be what is known as semi-forest coffee production. In this production system, the forest canopy is pruned back, and the under-brush is cleared for coffee.
While much is cleared for coffee in this system, semi-forest production does maintain a fair amount and plant diversity and healthy upper canopy, and is certainly better than many of the alternatives. These types of farms can be found around the houses of coffee producers like you would see in southern Ethiopia, but it also very common for them to be standalone farms away from farmers’ homes.
Tasting Notes: Best at a light to medium roast, a great example of Ethiopian coffee. Clean with some good brightness behind it, balanced with spicier black tea like undertones. Lighter roasts definitely have a lemony floral aspect up front with some good dark tone contrast, comes off a bit tea like, complex and dry. Medium roasts build a little more body and reduce that lemony floral to a level acceptable for most, crisp but not overly sour. Smaller soft fruit tones start popping out at the medium roasts but that lemony acidity overpowers them super light. Dark roasts are bold and semi-sweet, thicker dark tea tones and spice dominate the cup with a little smoky accent. Tasty but a shame to lose those overly floral and fruity tones that differentiate these Ethiopians over other origins.
Roasting Notes: An easy one to roast but a decent candidate for slowing down the roast a bit, light to medium roasts on a quick air roaster will leave it much more lemony, shooting for a 10-17 minute roasts really converts enough acidity to bring out much more diversity in its tastes. Otherwise if shooting quicker, make sure it gets a longer setup.
Producer : Kolla Bulcha Farmers Cooperative
Country : Ethiopia
Region : Gera, Jimma
Elevation : 2,000 – 2,100 m.a.s.l.
Variety : Bishari 74110, Other JARC Selections, and Indigenous Landraces
Harvest : October-December
Process : Washed
Flavor Notes : Vanilla, orange, blackberry, honey, lemon candy