It’s the time of year where we get to celebrate the latest crops from Ethiopia! It’s a massive occasion for us, in fact there’s no single event of the coffee year that we anticipate so keenly. The process of buying this coffee started in November as harvest progressed and we planned our purchases and concluded only a few weeks ago with the arrival of the coffee to our warehouse. Good thing this coffee was worth the wait!
Since we began buying directly in Ethiopia in 2017 we have witnessed significant regulatory changes every season, affecting every aspect of buying and exporting coffee, from pricing to export permissions to grading to shipping logistics. Happily, some of these have resulted in the ability for small farmers, like Ahmed Abatemam, to export their coffee directly to a final buyer such as ourselves. But not without major difficulty!
We met Ahmed two years ago when the export laws first changed, and we purchased from him in that year too. While we couldn’t celebrate the coffee (sadly the arrival quality suffered due to some export and shipping misadventures), we saw the potential and this year we’re stoked to bring you both this present release (a washed lot), with a stunning honey processed lot being kept in reserve for a less rainy day.
Ahmed is at the helm of a family enterprise including his brothers Dome and Kalid. Ahmed oversees processing, Dome is in charge of sales, and Kalid manages the farm (mostly controlling the growth of shade trees and machete-ing of weeds since they don’t apply any inputs on the farm. The farm is located about 30 mins sou-sou-west of Agaro, near some more famous operations like Hunda Oli and Sedi Loya.
We love so many things about the Abatemam family. Not just the health of their farm care and the diligence with which they do their processing (their rustic conditions are clearly no barrier to consistent quality), but even more importantly, their generosity in sparing no effort to ensure the export went as smoothly as was possible. We got there!
The farm itself (at 2050 metres altitude) is 35 hectares of classic Ethiopian forest wonderland, with coffee comprising the understory of many impressive flat-canopied Albizia trees, and containing plenty of young happy trees. Good soil, sustainable no-inputs farming, selected Ethiopian-native varietals, diligent processing and care of storage and export process all combine to bring you something special. Here it is.
In the 2020 buying season, Ethiopian government authorities set minimum coffee sales prices by region, coffee grade and seller type. The minimum pricing stipulated by the authorities for the grades and type we buy fluctuated between $3.10 and $4.20 a pound (USD, FOB Djibouti) during the buying season. We’re stoked that Ethiopia has managed to command such a premium above commodity coffee prices (roughly a 1/4 to a 1/3 of the above prices). With this very safe “fairness” price floor in place, we do not disclose our prices in Ethiopia since, above these minimums stipulated, pricing is basically set by the seller.
Roasted for espresso brewing, or filter brews with milk.
We ship coffee as whole beans by default, if you need your coffee ground, please let us know at the checkout.
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