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TARIKU MENGESHA

FLAVOUR PROFILE: Dried berries, apple cider & peach


LOCATION: Ethiopia


ALTITUDE: 2100 masl


VARIETAL: Various


PROCESS: Natural



Tariku Mengesha stands as the sole proprietor, cultivating this natural coffee exclusively on his estates. These farms span the Banko Chelchele neighborhood within the Gedeb woreda, south of Yirgacheffe and just west of the expansive Oromia region. Applying fundamental agronomic practices, Tariku maintains weed-free fields and strategically integrates pulse crops to enhance soil fertility. Assisted by Technoserve and district Agricultural experts, he diligently practices pruning. For processing, Tariku collaborates with Tesfaye Roba, employing traditional Natural methods. The process involves soaking cherries to eliminate immature, floaters, overripe, and extraneous components, followed by a 28-day drying period on raised beds.


Although coffee constitutes Mengesha's primary income, sustaining his family of ten children (3 boys and 7 girls), he also cultivates navy beans and "enset," known as false banana. Enset bears no edible fruit, yet its root and heart (rhizome and pseudostem) hold value. With an average maturity period of four to five years, enset yields roughly 80 lbs of starchy sustenance. After fermenting underground for up to a year, the doughy substance remains edible for nearly a decade. Often boiled, the plant's heart fibers find their peak use in the form of fermented enset "bread" or "cheese," called "kocho"—a Southern Ethiopian staple with robust flavors foreign to Western palates.



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