65% of Ethiopia’s coffee growing area is located within the Oromia region,
with around 150,000 tons a year produced across 88 regions within 13 regions. The majority of the regions coffee is known as garden coffee due to the small plots of land with lower yields, as producers multicrop with other cash crops
to maximise their returns. However Hambella farm encompasses 200 hectares and employs 28 full time staff, swelling to just over 700 in full season. 70% of these workers are women, and there is a program for farmers in the local area to be able to work closely with agronomists and processing experts to increase the quality of their coffee. Some of this is then bought and sold by the farm in addition to their own beans.
The coffee from Hambella is grown in the Guji zone, but the processing facilities are across the district border in Gedeb, Gedeo zone. Originally only producing natural coffees, Hambella now produces excellent Grade one and two coffees, using an eco-pulper to remove the flesh which removes the need for the fermentation stage and produces remarkably clean beans for a much lower water usage. If the natural is being produced, it is left to dry in the sun for 21 days on raised beds, being turned frequently before being bagged.
The farm itself was created by Aman Adinew and his brother Michael. Previous to this, Aman was director of quality control at the ECX, or Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, and was in charge of the first speciality coffee lab in Ethiopia.