250g, Whole Beans
An exceptional natural processed coffee bursting with notes of stewed stone fruit, strawberries and with a chocolate and rum like finish.
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Washing Station: Gora Kone Washing Station/Managed & operated by Testi Trading
Varietal(s): Heirloom (Arabica)
Altitude: 1,900 to 2,050 metres above sea level
Owner: Various smallholder farmers
Town: Werka, West Arsi Zone
Region: Nensebo Woreda, Sidamo
Total size of farm: Under 1 hectare on average
This exceptional lot was processed, dry milled and exported by Testi Coffee, a family-run business owned and managed by the Yonis family, who are making a name for themselves on the Ethiopian Specialty Coffee scene. For many years our import partner Mercanta was unable to secure good traceability information on many of our Ethiopian lots. As of 2017, all this changed, and we are very happy to highlight the great work that Testi are doing at origin.
The first person in the Yonis family to get seriously involved with coffee was Faysel A. Yonis. Faysel began working with coffee in the late 1990s, but at the time he was purely involved in supplying the local market. As the potential for specialty coffee in the country increased, Faysel saw opportunity. Even though he was still constrained by the ECX, he had a feeling that things would change.
Faysel established Testi Coffee in 2009 as a coffee exporting company, set about surrounding himself with exceptional coffee professionals, and hired his nephew, Adham, raised and educated in the USA, to help with outreach and marketing. Today, Testi owns and/or operates four washing stations in Guji, Yirgacheffe, Sidamo and in Limu – all premier coffee producing regions. This lot was processed using the natural method at Gora Kone washing station in Sidamo, which they operate on behalf of a partner. The cherry is delivered to various collection points and is then taken to the washing station, where it is delivered to dry for between 15 and 18 days, during which time it is stringently raked and sorted so as to preserve quality.
Testi work with small holder farmers, with the aim of securing the very best prices for their coffee so that they can pay fair prices for the cherry delivered. They have also recently established a 250 hectare farm in the Bench Maji Zone, where they plan to experiment with organic practices. They are currently also building a warehouse in Shakiso where they can process natural coffees locally, in the region where the coffee is grown. This keeps more revenue in the communities where the coffees are produced. Testi’s objective is quality and building long term business relationships. Their washing stations are very well run and they do diligent work through sorting and screening to get clean and quality coffee for export.
As of 2018, they launched a quality improvement project at each of the four washing stations that they operate. Their Premium Cherry Selection Project fully controls all aspects of harvest and processing in order to ensure that the fantastic natural quality of the coffee is maintained at each step. They are also making the most of the market liberalisation to benefit the small producers that they work with. Social projects, such as building new classrooms for the local school near their Guji processing factory are also important, and with support from their importing partners they hope to do even more in the future. They also currently have a drinking/household water provisioning project underway in Guji, and they plan to extend this to other communities in the future. The name ‘Testi’ means Happy or Happiness in Harrari language (it is also the name of Faysel’s middle son). Certainly Testi is bringing happiness to small scale producers and roasters alike!