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|Countries of origin||Ethiopia|
The name Nana Challa refers to a local mythic tale about a challenge to become King of Jimma, and the coop adopted it to signify their desire to be a strong cooperative. Indeed, many coops in the West of Ethiopia have struggled to find good buyers who will pay enough for the coffee, to manage their own debts, and from internal struggles and graft.
Nana Challa was formed as part of a new initiative to aid farmers in a more comprehensive way. This co-op, which is now 350 farmers and growing, has a tremendous mix of languages, tribes, cultures and religions.
This year’s Nana Challa is characteristically Ethiopian in profile and presents lots of notes of apricot and red fruit, with a clean sweet finish.
Why we love it
I love coffees that are a little floral and sweet, and this coffee is perfect. Really lovely aroma with hints of parma voilets
Lauren's Brew Guide
This coffee also makes for a delicious cold brew!
The Nana Challa Cooperative
Deep in western Ethiopia’s Jimma zone, past the town of Agaro, lies Genji Challa. A small administrative zone that took its name from a person called Challa – once the governor of this area. The farmers who first established Nano Challa – one of the most successful cooperatives in the area – chose this name as a sort of challenge or goal for themselves. Challa meaning is “we’ll do better than the rest of Challa”.
The farmers of Genji Challa
It’s easy to see why Nano Challa’s farmers set their sights high. Many of them are second or third-generation farmers in the area – the children of hardworking farming pioneers. Their parents and grandparents came here from more arid areas of the country years ago when the land around Genji Challa was still covered in untouched forest.
Used to tougher farming conditions, these tireless men and women first grew other crops – such as maize, sorghum, and teff – but found that it was difficult to make a living from their farms’ produce. They slowly moved to other cash crops such as khat (an herbal stimulant) and coffee. “Coffee pays you back for your work,” says Taddesse Worku, an octogenarian who has farmed in this area for close to four decades. But this was not always the case.
Ethiopia’s long coffee history predates written records. Arabica plants are native to Ethiopia, and many of the Arabica varieties now cultivated worldwide have their genetic roots in wild coffee growing in Ethiopian forests. With such easy access to wild-growing coffee, it is undoubtable that early people in Ethiopia consumed coffee for centuries before it became the global beverage that it is today.
The long tradition of coffee in Ethiopia has continued into the modern day. Coffee drinking is widespread in both social and cultural contexts and has a place at a wide range of social events. Nearly half of all coffee produced in the country is consumed on the domestic market. That’s no small feat for a country that produces some 860 million pounds of green coffee beans annually