Mustefa Abakeno, a dedicated smallholder farmer in the Jimma area of western Ethiopia, manages a sprawling 18-hectare farm located at an impressive altitude of 2,040 meters above sea level. His farm is a testament to Ethiopia’s rich coffee heritage, with a diverse range of coffee varieties sourced from the prestigious Jimma research centre. Mustefa’s coffee processing methods skillfully combine tradition and innovation to create exceptional coffee beans.
When he started his business, Mustefa purchased a three-disc coffee pulper which he used to process half of his crop as washed coffee. The other half goes through the natural process, where the cherries are carefully dried with the fruit pulp intact. However, due to water shortages and limited space for fermentation, the pulped coffee undergoes a brief fermentation period of eight hours before being transferred skilfully to drying beds. The result of this rigorous process results in a light honey flavor. In contrast, natural coffees enjoy a longer drying period, taking 24 to 27 days to reach perfection in African raised beds.
In 2018, Mustefa embarked on his journey as an exporter, benefiting from regulatory changes that allowed him to interact directly with discerning buyers. To facilitate this venture, he established the “Beshasha” wet mill, a versatile facility that processes both his own coffee and that of local producers. These neighbouring local producers collectively oversee plots of land ranging from 4 to 10 hectares.