Buku Hurufa Guji Natural

Buku Hurufa Naturals undergo a meticulous journey from coffee trees in the highly-prized Buku region to careful drying on beds at Buku Hurufa washing station. Everything that happens helps to retain and preserve the unique and floral characteristics of this coffee. 

Print PDF


Coffee Grade:
Buku Hurufa washing station
JARC 74110, JARC 74112, JARC 74158
2,120 meters above sea level
Farmers delivering to Buku Hurafa washing station
Buku Hurufa, Hambela,
Farm Size:
<2 hectares on average
Bag Size:
60kg GrainPro
Harvest Months:
Low elevations: October - December | High Elevations: November - January

About This Coffee

Lulo Coffee built the esteemed Buku Hurufa washing station in 2020. Their focus is on processing Naturals and Anaerobic Naturals that showcase the unique flavors and characteristics of these exceptional coffees while minimizing their environmental impact.

Situated in one of three Kebeles in the area that bears the name "Buku" (Buku Hurufa, Buku Sisa and Buku Abel), the word means dust. This region has a fascinating history and was once a stopping point for Borena cattle herders who were en route to Lake Abaya to collect salt. When the herds arrived they stirred up clouds of dust and the locals affectionately began referring to the river and the surrounding neighborhood as Buku.

Hambela Guji, where the station is located, is renowned for its exceptional coffee-growing regions including Benti Nenka, Buku, Buleye, Bedesa, Dekitu, Deri, Dabaye, Rogicha, Siqqe Bukusa and many more. Among these remarkable areas, Buku stands out as a producer of highly sought-after cherry. Mill owners from across Hambela regularly dispatch their cherry-buying agents to Buku, leading to a high demand and elevated cherry prices in this region. Additionally, due to its high altitude, the harvest in Buku begins later compared to other districts in Hambela, meaning that even cherry harvested at the beginning of Buku’s harvest season are priced at peak cherry prices.

Buku has gained recognition for its exotic flavor profiles. Not only that, but beans from Buku tend to be highly dense yet smaller in size. For instance, this year's harvest saw only 26% of the cherry above 14 screen size, with 67% falling between 13 and 14 screen size. These extremely dense beans are the product of the high altitudes that create the cooler nights when cherry concentrates sugars and grows more slowly.

Located in the remote part of Buku Hurufa, the mill is nestled amidst pristine surroundings and accessible only via a challenging dirt road and a river crossing. However, during the rainy season, the mill becomes temporarily inaccessible due to the road conditions. A crystal-clear river, known as Buku and also as Mormora or Awata, gracefully meanders through the mill, adding to its serene ambiance. This river joins the Dawa River in eastern Ethiopia, eventually making its way through Kenya before merging with the Juba River in Somalia and flowing into the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean. Protecting this river for surrounding communities and future generations is also part of the reason the mill processes mainly Naturals and Anaerobic Naturals, two processing methods that use far less water than traditional methods like Fully washed.

Harvest & Post-Harvest

Cherry is selectively handpicked by farmers and delivered to the station. At intake, cherry is floated and visually sorted to remove any underripe or damaged cherry. Ripe, red cherry is laid on raised beds to dry. Cherry is raked frequently to ensure even drying. It takes approximately 18 days for cherry to dry. The dry cherry then rests for two months before being hulled and transported to the capital for export grading and bagging.

Coffee in Ethiopia

While Ethiopia is famous as coffee’s birthplace, today it remains a specialty coffee industry darling for its incredible variety of flavors. While full traceability has been difficult in recent history, new regulations have made direct purchasing possible. We’re partnering directly with farmers to help them produce top quality specialty lots that are now completely traceable, adding value for farmers and roasters, alike.

The exceptional quality of Ethiopian coffee is due to a combination of factors. The genetic diversity of coffee varieties means that we find a diversity of flavor, even between (or within) farms with similar growing conditions and processing. In addition to varieties, processing methods also contribute to end quality. The final key ingredients for excellent coffee in Ethiopia are the producing traditions that have created the genetic diversity, processing infrastructure and great coffee we enjoy today.

Most producers in Ethiopia are smallholders, and the majority continue to cultivate coffee using traditional methods. As a result, most coffee is grown with no chemical fertilizer or pesticide use. Coffee is almost entirely cultivated, harvested and dried using manual systems.

Read More