Ethiopia Bench Sheko
Ethiopia, the origin of coffee, has given us another powerhouse of a varietal. Grown by small grower cooperatives, the newly named Bench Sheko region of Ethiopia is delivering a striking new lot. We're happy to be able to offer this to you now.
In the nose, we're getting notes of vanilla beans and heavy cream. The cup is smooth and full, with hints of strawberry, sweet cream, and pound cake. The finish is velvety and smooth, with a slight astringency.
The farmer members meticulously pick and sort the coffee cherry by hand, with love and attention to detail, giving us an exquisite cup. You owe it to yourself to try this fully natural process coffeee.
Aroma: Sweet, Vanilla Bean, Heavy Cream
Body: Smooth, Full, Strawberry and Cream, Pound Cake
Finish: Slight Astringency, Earthy, Velvety
About this Coffee
GROWER: Smallholder farmers in Bench Sheko
REGION: Sheko district, Bench Maji/Bench Sheko zone, South West Ethiopia Peoples’ Region, Ethiopia
ALTITUDE: 1650 – 1880 meters
PROCESS: Full natural and dried on raised beds
VARIETY: Local landraces and indigenous heirloom cultivars
HARVEST: October - December
The Bench Maji zone, in Ethiopia’s far southwest, was until recently part of the country’s Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region—shared by other powerhouse zones like Sidama and Gedeo. The zone was not quite synonymous with the others for production and quality, but nonetheless has for many years had a reputation for stability and predictable cup profiles. In 2021 a successful referendum established a new, separate region comprised of Bench Maji and a few surrounding zones, and is now known as the South West Ethiopia Peoples’ Region, complete with a local party leader and newly-drawn administrative zones. Bench Maji itself now has a new name: Bench Sheko. But the “Bench Maji” image and reputation still persists in the coffee world. This lot is a blend of smallholder farmers with memberships in various local associations. The exporter of the coffee, Gende Kore Coffee PLC, has relationships with smallholder associations throughout the area and regularly produces lots like this one by selectively blending washed or natural outturns to fit a particular grade. Contributing farmers come from within the Bench Maji Coffee Union, the Sheko Amora Gedel Coffee Union, and the Sanka Multipurpose Coffee Union. Picking is carried out individually by farmer members and cherry is collected by the associations, inspected for maturity and cleanliness, and then taken directly to raised beds to dry. Each association averages 250 farmer members and each station averages 100 staff to assist with the rotation of drying cherry and covering the tables at night to protect it from excess humidity. Drying typically takes 21 days to complete.