Burka Gudina is a large, privately owned, a coffee farm in the Limmu Kosa woreda (district) in Ethiopia’s Jimma zone. It is owned by Ibrahim Hussein who, as a young boy, fell in love with coffee-growing up on the farm that used to belong to his father, and his father’s father before him.
When the communist regime took over in the 70s, Ibrahim’s father lost his farm, leaving him with just a dry mill in the town of Limu Genet. But Ibrahim’s passion for coffee was not something that would die away easily. Always remembering the halcyon days of his childhood – crossing rivers by mule, eating around a campfire with his father – he always dreamt of going back to growing coffee on a large farm.
In the early 90s, the communist regime fell, and Ibrahim got a chance to make his dreams a reality. Although he did not get his father’s land back, Ibrahim purchased 205 hectares of land quite close to his old stomping grounds. This is now the source of Burka Gudina’s grade one coffee, the culmination of Ibrahim’s passion and fulfillment of his dreams.
When Ibrahim’s grandfather started growing coffee, coffee was the major crop grown in the area. The same holds true today, and it is no surprise as this land is a perfect coffee country. Situated at an altitude ranging from 1800 to 2000 meters above sea level, the Burka Gudina farm rests on densely forested hills that roll up and down in gentle slopes
The Shade-Grown Coffees
Over half the trees covering the farm are acacia trees, and the rest are a mix of other endemic forest trees including wanza (Sudan teak), grevillea, and berbera (African teak). In the shade of this beautiful forest, Ibrahim grows carefully selected local varieties of coffee that grow well in high altitudes and that are resistant to disease.
Over the 19 years since the farm was established, he has set up a good team of farmers (70 of them) and managers and the farm runs like a well-oiled machine.