Back in 2020, Passenger released a dry processed Reserve Lot called Bookkisa that had been sourced from Ethiopian producer Ture Waji and his team at Sookoo Coffee. With creamy sweetness and a pleasingly fruity cup profile, the coffee quickly became one of the most popular releases we have ever shared on the menu.
Ture Waji is often referred to as “The King of Guji” in specialty coffee circles, and for good reason: he has been the person behind many of the cleanest, terroir-driven Ethiopian naturals that we at Passenger have had the pleasure of tasting. Our green buying team first became aware of Ture during the years that he was working as a quality manager at two respected private estates in southern Ethiopia: Mormora and Guji Highlands. Since that time, Ture established Sookoo Coffee with his brother Assefa, exported his first lots in 2018/2019, and currently operates processing sites in Odo Shakiso and Uraga. As one of Passenger’s longest-standing contacts in Ethiopia, we have had this talented producer to thank for many memorably delicious coffees over the years.
At the time of writing, we are truly excited to share two outstanding 2023 harvest selections from the Sookoo team that once again bear the Bookkisa name. These lots were selected from an early harvest cupping table in Addis Ababa, on Passenger’s most recent visit to Ethiopia in January 2023. While we had arrived in Ethiopia hopeful that there would be coffees from Ture available to cup, we had not expected that, in addition to beautiful naturals, there would also be a sample of the first ever fully washed lot that he has produced under the Sookoo banner! Following that memorable cupping, we were fortunate to secure an allocation of Ture’s 2023 Bookkisa offering (in both processes) and we are proud to release them together at the present time.
Bookkisa (washed) and Bookkisa Dry Process are community lots, meaning that they are composed of coffee delivered to the Sookoo site in Odo Shakiso by a community of farmers who live in the neighboring kebele of Bookkisa (a kebele is the smallest administrative unit in Ethiopia). Both lots are primarily composed of two varieties (74110 and 74112) that were selected for their yield potential and resistance to coffee berry disease by researchers at the Jimma Agricultural Research Center (JARC). Since their original identification and selection from the Illubabor forest in the 1970’s, these particular JARC selections have become some of the most commonly cultivated coffee varieties in Ethiopia.1
- Bekele, Getu, and Timothy Hill. A Reference Guide to Ethiopian Coffee Varieties. Durham, N.C.: Counter Culture Coffee, 2018.