Thumbnail Filmstrip of Ethiopia Yrgacheffe Naga Singage Grade 1 Images
Naga Singage is one of a handful of local coffee growing communities in and around the town of Yirgacheffe, one of the premier coffee growing sites in Ethiopia and, some would say, in the world. Local smallholders with farms located between 1950 and 2150 meters produce coffee and bring ripe cherries to the Aricha coffee processing station. Aricha is one of Ethiopia's best known facilities where coffee is processed by various methods from fully washed to full Natural like this excellent example. This delightful coffee takes its name from the Naga Singage Mountain that sits near the Gersi kebele (neighborhood). An important landmark for the Gedeo community, this mountain is a traditional place of reconciliation and healing.
Nearly perfect conditions exist for coffee in this area as elevation, farmer skill and experience, fertile soil and ideal microclimate come together for the production of ripe world class coffee. Once harvested the coffee has to be processed and that is where the Aricha facility comes into play. Aricha serves the coffee communities of Aricha, Reko, Gersi, Naga Singage, and Idido. As great and famous as the Aricha station had become over the years, it had fallen into a state of disrepair. In 2018 the site was acquired by Testi Coffee, owned by Faysel Abdosh, who immediately took on the task of reviving the station to its former greatness. In the first year or two much needed to be done but slowly the facility started to come around. In 2019, just one year after reviving the station, four Aricha coffees made the final selection of The Ethiopian Cup, the in-country competition seeking to award the country's finest coffee.
- Regional State: Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Region
- Zone: Gedeo
- Woreda (District): Yrgacheffe
- Kebele (Village): Naga Singage
- Altitude: 1950-2150 Meters above sea level
- Coffee Variety: JARC (Jimma Agricultural Research Center) Cultivars, and indigenous landraces
- Processing: Natural
- Harvest: October-January
Aricha process each farming community’s coffee separately so lots from Naga Singageg are separated and provide traceability to the community where the coffee was produced. Most of the farmers are from southern Ethiopia’s Gedeo ethnic group and have lived in the area for as long as anyone can remember and have grown coffee here commercially since at least the 1920s. The plots of land rarely exceed two hectares (about 5 acres) and are really home gardens where other subsistence food crops are grown. In addition to providing food for their tables and some cash crops like coffee, there is widespread belief these gardens help preserve the region’s plant diversity. Gedeo farmers usually tend their fields with the help of their wives and children.
Faysel is a strong believer in working with farming communities and growing together. In Aricha, this has meant working with the regional government and getting electricity lines running to farmers’ homes. Testi Coffee has also invested in building a school for the community’s children in the area. Around five hundred farmers from the vicinity regularly bring their cherries to the washing station. Testi would like to increase this to one thousand farmers and more. “We have a good relationship with our farmers,” says Faysel, as he explains how he wants the farmers to see the washing station as their own. Testi pays a premium to farmers who bring their cherries exclusively to the Aricha washing station. In addition, the washing station shares profits with the farming community, providing an incentive to ever improve the quality of the coffee they bring to the washing station. Moreover, since each community’s lots are processed separately, profits find their way back to each community as well. In this way, the washing station hopes to encourage more farmers to bring their cherries here exclusively.
This delightful coffee takes its name from the Naga Singage Mountain that sits near the Gersi kebele (neighborhood). An important landmark for the Gedeo community, this mountain is a traditional place of reconciliation and healing.