Ethiopian Birbirsa Co-operative Djimma Natural

Old dogs like me (with the coffee memory of an elephant) remember 25 years ago there was a commercial cheesy, leathery offering called a Jimma 5. It did a thing in a cup of coffee, but was never great! I bring you this Birbirsa Co-operative as a nod to just how great coffee processing has become.  I mean it is incredible!

Just to be clear; this is far from the former years and is deeply sweet, clean, and beautifully processed and the best coffee I have ever tasted from the region…so far!

Top Trumps:

 Birbirsa Co-operative: Members 134; marketed by

Kata Muduga Multipurpose Farmers’ Cooperative Union

Location: Jimma zone, Goma District, Beshasha kebele

Area: The Union is based in Agaro town

Altitude:  From 2000m to 2100m altitude

Harvest: October to January

Process: Natural

Varietal: Local heirloom varietals

Roast: Light Filter. Cool dropped.

Cup Profile Filter:

Based on 60-65g per litre

|Aromatics: High fruit, candied| Body: Light to creamy | Acidity: Desert wine, pineapple, raspberry/loganberry Lime finish|

One of the great things about this coffee is the fact that to get the most out of it, it takes t i m e.  Upfront, there is a deep, soft (yellow) fruity sweetness. On cooling, the soft acidity drops a little, and the raspberry/ loganberry emerges. Long lingering limey finish.

We would suggest this is delicate but not wildly complex,  as far as natural process Ethiopians go.


Cup profile Espresso:

In milk-based drinks, I have been brewing this in the usual 1:2 or 17g of ground coffee into 34g of espresso liquid in Mid-to-late 2o seconds. With whole milk, up to 9oz, this is like drinking a tropical fool, or if you prefer a creamy, rich, ripe fruity pudding. It’s dreamy. In a 6oz milk-based drink there is more citrus and intensity of fruit in general. Unusually for me, I am not sure which of the three I like best.

The espresso: 26+ seconds is where the espresso is at for me; to recap 16-17g into about 50g of espresso liquid. Unsurprisingly, this is where the fruit is. The sweetness is so nice and (relatively) soft, for such a light roast.

I left this two days from roast before starting to play around with it. It is behaving really well and tasting incredible.

Farm Stuff

Birbirsa is a small cooperative part of Kata Muduga Multi-purpose Farmer’s Cooperative Union. The Union is based at Agaro town,  30 miles from Jimma, the largest city in southwestern Oromia Region in Ethiopia, and 250 miles from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. Kata Muduga works with farmers from 5 rural districts in the Jimma zone: Goma, Gera, Gumai, Setema, and Sigimo. The general manager and representative of the Union is Asnake Nigat.

Kata Muguda represents and markets the coffees from Birbirsa  following the price structure below:
Export expenses: 5%
Union commission: 5%
Payment to coop members: 70%
Cooperative expenses: 30% (of which 10% are used to invest in social projects)

Then there is the inevitable handling, shipping, roasting, profiling, packaging, and distribution too.




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