Prototype is an espresso coffee that is all about intense sweetness and bright acidity with dominant fruit and floral flavours. This season we have chosen to highlight just one coffee in Prototype,...
Prototype is an espresso coffee that is all about intense sweetness and bright acidity with dominant fruit and floral flavours. This season we have chosen to highlight just one coffee in Prototype, the Hambella Natural. The roast is designed for espresso so this is where we feel it shines the most but it can also be enjoyed as a filter.
Hambella’s story began with Muluemebet Emiru, the grandmother of the current owners of the farm. Muluemebet was Ethiopia’s first ever female pilot and after the second world war she was gifted a plot of land by the Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie, on which she decided to build a coffee farm. This was quite revolutionary in the 1930’s as even now the vast majority of coffee grown in Ethiopia is what’s known as garden coffee which are just small plots of land that belong to families that multi-crop coffee with other cash crops.
Located in Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest coffee growing region, the Hambella farm sits at around 1,900 meters above sea level and cultivates Heirloom Ethiopian varieties that have flourished in this landscape for thousands of years. The farm now covers about 200 hectares and is a good source of employment for the local area as there are 28 full time staff and about 700 during harvest time.
Part of Hambella’s vision has always been to improve the recognition of Ethiopian coffee and help the local community. They now have a state-of-the-art lab which is the first in Africa to be fully SCA certified, not only does this help them to produce amazing coffee but they also provide pre and post-harvest training here for other farmers in the area. They have also adopted a school of more than 400 students in Hambella where they have invested in uniforms, furniture, equipment and teacher’s salaries to help encourage retention and they are currently working on drilling a well for the school and local community. As a farming family they have always had a strong connection with the land too and reinvest a portion of the profits in sustainable farming practices such as vermiculture, intercropping and an apiary for crop pollination.
The Natural Hambella is dried for 21 days on raised beds, soaking up the equatorial sun, intensifying those dried fruit notes of raisin and redcurrant, turning its flesh into flavour. Over the last few years we have noticed this natural getting cleaner in taste and this year sure is the cleanest yet! With perfume-like florals up front followed by zingy lime, a bit of hops and intense sweetness and body inherent of the process, it's everything we love about Ethiopian coffee!