Alaka, among the many collection and washing sites at the vast Hambela estate in Guji, is perennially among our favorites from Ethiopia. It’s made an appearance before as a Gold label coffee, and this years harvest is an elegant, clean washed coffee with notes of sweet meyer lemons, black tea, hibiscus, chamomile, honeydew melon, pear, and plum. It’s on the softer side, not a screamer, but so very sweet and delicious, easily one of the most chuggable Gujis that have come through our doors this season.
The name Hambela has emerged as a recognizable denomination of origin in recent years, largely due to the efforts of the Adinew family. While Hambela Wamena is the name of a district, it is the Hambela farm, run by Aman, Michael, and Tariku Adinew, that stakes the claim as a center for exceptional coffee production.
The estate was part of a gift of land during the time of Emperor Haile Selassie to Muluemebet Emiru, the first African female pilot. It is her grandchildren that now manage the farmland and the METAD Agricultural Development company. Among the many important pieces of work undertaken by METAD are their commitment to equal employment opportunities for women and education opportunities for the youth of the coffeelands, their early partnerships with Grounds for Health, and their development of Africa’s first SCAA certified lab.