New: Kolla Bolcha - Ethiopia

by Justin Matheny

When fresh Ethiopian samples begin to hit your cupping table in the spring, you cannot wait to share your choices with customers when those coffees eventually arrive at your roastery in the summer. The region suits the season: fruity, floral bombs of flavor everywhere! 

Kolla Bolcha is from one of my favorite regions in Ethiopia, Agaro. Up until 20 years ago, Agaro was known for low quality natural coffees and the farmers of that region were paid well below market prices for their coffees. It wasn’t until a group of 25 farmers from Agaro, a small town located in Jimma Zone in the regional state of Oromia, established the now legendary Nano Challa cooperative that conditions began to improve drastically.


In collaboration with TechnoServe, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Nano Challa became the first co-op in Agaro, using their influence to foster better growing practices and demanding that members receive much higher prices for their coffees. With the success of this program, the Kolla Bolcha Cooperative opened a few years later just over the hill from the famed Biftu Gudina Cooperative.

These days, coffees from Agaro are prized, top-notch coffees that I absolutely adore. Coffees from the cooperatives Duramina, Yukro, and Nano Challa sell out in an instant every year before they even ship out of Ethiopia. Kolla Bolcha isn’t quite as well known now, but it's bound to be right up there in the coming years.


Kolla Bolcha has all the frills of a washed Ethiopian coffee but with a deep cherry, currant, syrupy body that really lets this coffee shine. A nostalgic orange creamsicle note is a slice right out of my childhood summers. The coffee is deep, contemplative with an acidity that hangs right in the middle of the tongue throughout the cup. Having Kolla Bolcha is a real pleasure for Greater Goods and we know you’ll love it too. 

Kolla Bolcha is my go-to coffee in the Chemex in the later summer mornings. A good 1:16 ratio and the body really shines with candied ginger upfront, followed by a sparkling, rhubarb-like soda acidity. I hope everyone enjoys it!