Ayla is a privately-owned washing station that is located in the Bensa woreda (administrative district) in Ethiopia’s Sidama zone. It is located in the kebele (local village) of Bombe. The washing station is one of twenty owned and managed by Testi Coffee, a family-owned company founded by Mr Faysel A. Yonis. The washing station is named Ayla after one of Mr. Faysel’s nieces.
Sitting at 1,950m above sea level, Ayla produces exceptional washed and natural processed lots using the nearby Bonora river as its main source of fresh water. During harvest, freshly picked coffee cherry is delivered daily by some 700-800 independent outgrowers. The majority of the families who contributed to this lot farm organically on tiny plots of land, which average just 1-2 hectares in size. Coffee is their main cash crop and grows alongside food crops of corn, grain and bananas, under the shade of native Birbira, Wanza, and Acacia trees. The average elevation of the farms in this region is very high – around 1,950–2,150m above sea level – and this, combined region’s cool temperatures, is ideal for the slow ripening of coffee cherries, leading to denser beans and a sweeter, more complex cup profile.