The Guji Highland Farm located about an hour’s drive from Shakiso town and its rich, gold-filled land, the Guji Highland farm is set on 150 hectares of fertile land that sits under the dense canopy of the ancient forest that covers this area. “Guji has had forest coffee for as long as we can remember”, says Ato Waddessa, adding, “It has a special taste, and we made it a point to grow our coffee from these unique mother trees.”
Work on the farm began in 2012, and for the first few harvests, Guji Highland focused on natural sundried coffee. In recent years the farm established a washing station with a modern Penagos machine and warehouse and began processing washed coffee as well.
Ato Waddessa’s goal is to prepare high-quality organic coffee for export and there are several factors that ensure the Guji Highland farm produces some of the finest coffee in the region. The natural factors include the type of coffee, the altitude, and the thick forest. All coffee trees on the farm are descendants of the area’s indigenous mother trees. This ensures the coffee’s natural unique flavor is not lost.
Furthermore, the soil on the farm is rich as it has benefited from years of natural decomposition of plant matter in the forest. In addition to this, the farm takes further steps to ensure quality. These take the form of extra care and maintenance of seedlings and trees; regular training of farm staff and outgrowers; as well as attention to detail during the harvest season.
Lastly, after harvest, cherries are either dried or washed. Whichever route the coffee takes, the staff at Guji Highland’s mills are trained to take each painstaking step with care and attention.