Sweet, delicate and deeply complex, the Homacho Waeno presents lavender and lilac in the aroma and jasmine, peach and honey in the cup. Crisp, floral-toned acidity heightens this coffee's flavor profile while a lightly syrupy mouthfeel carries into a richly-toned finish.
Sourced from family-owned farms organized around the Homacho Waeno Cooperative located within the Sidama Zone of Ethiopia, the Homacho Waeno is one of the largest cooperatives in the region with 3,600 members and four washing stations. Since 1976, the co-op has prioritized sustainability and sound production practices. Relying on premiums acquired from Fair Trade and Organic certifications, the co-op has brought electricity and roads to thousands of members. Grown at Sidama's highest elevations, this coffee reflects the effort of producers working in concert with the land and each other to achieve a remarkable coffee evident in every cup.
As the birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia's genetic diversity is no secret, but increased attention is being paid to distinguishing cultivars and varieties, owing in part to the Jimma Agricultural Research Center (JARC) established in the 1960s. The Center has been instrumental in selecting, breeding and distributing scores of cultivars throughout the country. The JARC, along with the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute, maintain two of the world's most important and extensive gene banks for Arabica coffee. Their distributed cultivars have included region-specific selections, specialty cultivars developed for optimal flavors, and hybrids engineered for disease resistance.
In recent years there has been a growing tendency to shy away from the term "heirloom" in regard to Ethiopian coffee varieties as it does a disservice to the wide array of genetic variation. Many so-called "indigenous heirloom varieties" are, in fact, hybrids or selected cultivars. That said, there's no doubt that many Ethiopian cultivars have indeed been passed down generationally through the hands of small farmers, preserving locally unique genetic material. Most plant biologists, however, prefer to use the term "landrace" to describe these types of local selections that have been born out of circumstance or necessity.
Suggested Brewing: Kalita Wave, Hario V60
Grower: Smallholder farmer members of the Homacho Waeno Cooperative
Variety: Indigenous Landraces and Selections
Region: Aleta Wendo, Sidama, SNNP, Ethiopia
Altitude: 1940 masl
Process: Fully washed after pulping and fermenting, soaked in clean water overnight, then dried on raised beds.
Certifications: Fair Trade, Organic