This coffee comes from the Guji region, which used to be a sub-region of Sidamo but has been separated recently. Guji-zone lies in the Oromia region in Southern Ethiopia. Being covered with forests, it is excellent for farming and has ideal conditions for growing Arabica: high altitude (over 1,500 m); rich, well-drained (mainly volcanic) soils that hardly require additional fertilizers; highland tropical climate with 1,500–2,500 mm of rainfall over nine months and optimum temperatures between 15 and 24°C. Over the past six decades, rapid commercial and cultural developments have elevated Guji into a unique coffee region.
Shonora Family was the first who started producing coffee in Guji 25 years ago. In the early 1990s Shonora Gata was among the first to plant a dry coffee processing station at Gerba town and a wet coffee processing station at Sakicha, West Guji zone. He was supported by his son Katelo. So, it is a long-run family business, named in honor of the father. The other family member Shebera Shonora is also among the green coffee bean suppliers in the area. Last year his coffee was a national bestseller with a quality score of 96. Like their eldest brothers, the two youngest sons, Adugna Shonora and Morkata Shonora, who both are Engineering degree majors, got their interest in Coffee farms and business at an early age.
As the largest quality coffee producer and exporter in Ethiopia, Shonora Coffee Trading has a proud history of providing quality coffees to the local and international markets. They work directly with small farmers from the Guji, Suke Kutu kebele and Urga in the Oromia region and collect quality coffee to be processed and exported.
The station now processes coffee from 150 local farms located at the altitude of 1900 – 2300 m.a.s.l. Big farmers get from the company financial support to cover the harvest cost. Shonora also provides financial experts to advise on how to invest, run agronomy training, do analytics and so on. Each year they reward the farmers, who supply the best coffee cherries to the station.
Shonora does a lot to support the local community. They invest in the improvement of public transport and road infrastructure. Besides, they committed to establishing a school and a scholarship scheme for children. Now they also plan to build a hospital.
All coffee is selectively hand-picked before being delivered to a collection center.
At the station they always try to have a separate lot with a name for every single producer.
Coffee cherries are laid out in thin layers and dried on raised beds for approximately 15-21 days, depending on the weather. During this time they are constantly turned throughout the day to ensure even drying. During the initial drying all under-ripe cherries are sorted out. After dried to the optimum level, the cherries are sent to mills to separate the beans from the
rest of the dried fruit, otherwise known as being “hulled” before being sorted in a dry mill for the shipment.