They also buy even more coffee cherry from growers who surround their farm: almost 100 tonnes worth! However, thankfully, they fully separate out their own cherry and this lot is composed of cherry entirely from their own farm, and is a natural processed coffee.
The duo performs dry processing of some of their coffees directly on the farm, and they borrow the facilities of a SNAP wet mill for their washed process, the method by which this coffee is processed. They plan to build their own wet mill at some point in the future.
I’ve been to the Hambela district many times, but I haven’t been able to visit their farm yet, due to Covid restrictions the last couple of seasons. I’m very much looking forward to visiting in the future though.
This coffee was milled and exported by our export partner, SNAP Coffee. Like us, SNAP hails from a tech background, but now they’re a powerhouse in the speciality coffee sector of Ethiopia. The success of SNAP lies in their union of excellent capitalization and the expertise of a few passionate coffee people. Credit belongs to entrepreneur Negusse Debela for his willingness to invest in washing stations and a dry mill, with the belief that “if you build it, they will come.” On the coffee quality side, much credit belongs to Abenezer Asfaw, the supply chain manager for Snap. Abenezer is only a young man, with much less grey hair than me, but that’s his advantage. He’s full of passionate zeal and boundless energy. He has a keen understanding of quality and the factors affecting it. Undoubtedly, he’s already leaving a major mark on the Ethiopian Speciality Coffee sector.
I’m sad to have missed two years of visiting Ethiopia in 2021 and 2022 (so far) but I’m also very grateful for the relationships I’ve formed over the last decade of visits every season, which I’ve been able to lean on to ensure we continue to have access to great coffee in Ethiopia. I had to miss my visit last year not due to the pandemic, but due to a full out war which has been waging in the northern region of Tigray since November 2020. Tigray is a region that borders the northern country of Eritrea. The brutal war caused a full-on humanitarian crisis in the area. It’s heart-wrenching to learn about the acts of brutal violence which have occurred in a country I love dearly. Thankfully, in March/April 2022, the Ethiopian government declared an indefinite humanitarian truce. This is clear progress but reconciliation between the government and Tigray leaders will be a long road ahead.
So, as I enjoy this coffee and am very grateful for the efforts and care of the Ethiopian hands involved, I’ll reflect on these challenges facing Ethiopia and my hope for their peaceful future.
This green was frozen immediately upon arrival.