Jasmine / Blueberry / Cinnamon
Farmer – Khalid Shifa
Region – Gomma, Jimma
Variety – Heirloom
Processing – Honey
Altitude – 2,100 m.a.s.l
When Khalid tells his story, it is easy to understand why the 30-year-old producer is so attached to the farm and to the coffee trees that have watched him grow. Khalid was born locally. He inherited the plantations from his father, who inherited them from his father.At the time, it was a small coffee plantation created using wild coffee plants sourced from the Choché forest, which according to legend is the birthplace of Ethiopian coffee. A young shepherd named Kaldi (not Khalid!) is said to have discovered the virtues of coffee in this forest. He noticed that his goats had boundless energy after feeding on its coffee bushes and, intrigued by the phenomenon, Kaldi went on to unlock the potential of coffee!
Here, coffee is a legacy that must be taken care of. His family has been living on the land for many years. When creating his first plantations, his grandfather went to the Choché forest, a few kilometres away, in search of wild coffee plants. Since then, growing demand for Jimma coffee has made these family plantations stronger, and Khalid is happy to continue these traditions. He remembers meandering between the coffee trees as a child, following his mother while she collected cherries. He knows the land like the back of his hand and, because they were handed down to him, he says he treats his coffee plants as he would “his children”. When you see the close attention that he pays to his farm and its exceptional environment, and the efforts he makes to constantly improve the quality of his production, it is clear that there is a strong connection between the man and his region.
Today, Khalid and his brother put as much energy into their coffee farm as the previous generations did. The family farm has grown and now extends over 35 hectares in the Jimma appellation at an altitude of 2,100 metres. It is situated in a rich environment with a biodiversity that Khalid and his brother are working to maintain. They have set up a nursery for new coffee plants and have 25 African beds for drying coffee and 6 more reserved exclusively for the honey process. He hopes that his 3 children, currently living in and attending school at the small town near Agaro, will also be able to enjoy the same profession when they are older.