Adam Banata grows and processes natural coffees on his 4 hectare farm in the highlands of Nensebo, West Arsi. Often lumped in with its more well-known neighbors, Sidama to the west and Guji to the south, West Arsi has been designated a unique coffee-growing origin by the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) in recent years and is making a name for itself in the international specialty coffee market. In 2020, coffees from Nensebo occupied 4 of the top 10 spots in Ethiopia’s first Cup of Excellence competition.
Mr. Banata and his family selectively handpick ripe, red fruit and lay it to dry on his farm’s 23 raised drying beds. He turns it every hour and covers it at midday to prevent scorching and overnight to prevent condensation. Once dry, after about 16 days, he bags the coffee and stores it in a warehouse on the farm to rest and homogenize for at least 60 days before transporting it to the dry mill to be hulled and prepared for export.
In addition to coffee, Mr Banata grows a variety of fruits and a local, carbohydrate-rich plant called enset (false banana). All of his crops, including his coffee, are de-facto organic as he uses no chemical pesticides or fertilizers.