In late 2018, Danche was acquired by Snap Speciality coffee (see below for more about them) and in 2019 they built a wet mill there to wash coffee. It’s just up the mountain from the original Chelbessa washing station (a 20 min motorbike ride!), and that little bit of extra altitude does a few important things: 1) it means a bit more bean density and quality potential, 2) it’s a bit less accessible and so it receives cherry from fewer areas, and ones closer to the station. Namely, the neighbourhoods (“Kebele” in Amharic) are: Kubi, Sisota, Sike. 3) It has just 386 member farmers, so it’s small, which can bode well for quality.
The same manager - Girum Assefa - is leading both stations. Over the last few seasons, he’s been very consistent; this is not an easy feat in Ethiopia.
The station is owned by Veer Trading PLC, which is a sister company of Snap Speciality Coffee. With a background as a computer trading company, Snap is actually quite new to coffee. It’s pretty impressive to see that in only few short years, they’ve ascended to contend for a top spot amongst the quality specialty exporters in Ethiopia. I believe that the explanation for this rapid development lies in the 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, right off the cuff, 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 (compared to me ;-) ), but that’s really to his advantage as he’s full of passionate zeal and boundless energy. He has a keen understanding of quality and the factors affecting it, and undoubtedly, he’ll be leaving a major mark on the Ethiopia Speciality Coffee sector in the years to come.
This particular coffee is a mixture of two regional land race varieties called Kurume and Dega. If you sort through the coffees, you’ll see some smaller beans (Kurume) and larger ones (Dega). These are the classic Gedeo varieties found in the best quality areas of Gedeo zone, formally termed “Yirgacheffe”.
This green was frozen immediately upon arrival.