Guji coffee has been receiving a lot of attention from the specialty coffee world in the past several years, and for good reason. Many privately owned washing stations have sprung up recently, in an area that has traditionally processed coffee using a natural (dry) method. The quality of these washed coffees can be outstanding, which isn’t surprising considering the area’s close proximity to Yirgacheffe. “Close” is relative speaking in terms of travel in Ethiopia, where 100 km can mean a 10 hour drive, but the variety of terrain and culture in that short distance is incredible.
Guji is an administrative zone of the Oromia region of Ethiopia, which gained political definition in 2002. Prior to that year, the Guji territory (named for the Guji tribe of the Oromo people) was a part of the Borena zone. Guji Zone shares a border with the Southern Nations, Nationalities & People’s Region (SNNP,) which includes Gedeo Zone (where Yirgacheffe is located) and Sidama Zone.
Despite being near to Yirgacheffe in location (as the crow flies,) we’ve seen a huge diversity of coffee profiles from Guji, ranging from the sweet lemon candy and floral tea you might expect from the area, to heavy green melon, peach and rose flavors. The natural coffees from Guji can also be spectacular when cared for well, bringing syrupy fruit, marmalade, rosé wine and perfumed aromatics.