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Nano Challa

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Producer: Kata Muduga Cooperative Union
Varietal: Ethiopia Landracers
Region: Guji
Elevation: 1900-2200 meters
Process: Mechanically Washed, Delvas
Drying: Raised Beds
Fermentation: 12 Hours, Wet
Aroma: Lemon Drop, Cinnamon
Tasting Notes: Crenshaw Melon, Rose Hip, Lemon Raspberry Sorbet

Historically one of the most coveted coffees in all of Western Ethiopia, Nano Challa was started in 2004 in a zone historically known for producing low-quality natural coffees.

Over a decade ago Nano Challa was selected as part of an initiative sparked by Bill and Melinda Gates called Technoserve — a project to improve the livelihoods of smallholder coffee farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. The initiative worked with local farmers to establish new coffee cooperatives and strengthen existing ones, and then worked with the cooperatives to create business plans and access financing for wet mills. After this, Nano Challa’s membership did such an amazing job with production and processing over the last decade that the tremendous premiums they were receiving caused their membership to swell to a level that pushed their capacity as far as it could go. This year, they opened a new facility called Nano Genji (another Variety coffee!) a few miles away to accommodate this growth.

In 2009, when Red Fox (our main source for green coffee) first traveled to meet the people behind the Nano Challa cooperatives, their coffees were flowing into the marketplace undifferentiated and undervalued. Once USAID’s Technoserve project, which focused on improving African coffee farmers’ lives by helping them get better prices for their coffee, established the Nano Challa washing station, Aleco saw the unique character of their coffee and invested in developing relationships with its producers, which have grown stronger to this day. Ten years later, due to our longstanding relationship with the leaders of the larger Kata Muduga cooperative union, we’re proud to have the right to first selection in this region, and the results of that opportunity are clear on the cupping table.

Nano Challa brings an intense, lively sweetness, with notes of Crenshaw Melon, Rose Hip, Lemon Raspberry Sorbet a testament to the work put into these coffees during growing, picking, processing, and beyond.