The biggest challenge on my trips to Ethiopia is not finding great coffee - it’s always there - but rather finding consistent top-quality year after year from the same washing stations.
The way I’ve done it for the past 10 years, which I don’t like much, is just to cup (i.e. taste) dozens of lots until top coffees are found. The reason why this isn’t my preferred method is because it results in bouncing around from producer to producer each year, and it prevents collaboration with a smaller group to work together to improve quality over time. That’s why I’m so grateful to have found Feku. His level of consistency is really impressive, and I can trust that he’s going to deliver top quality each season. One of the key reasons for that quality is that Feku manages this washing station himself, as opposed to living further away and delegating the task to someone else.
Feku and the exporter of this coffee, Snap, have a very close relationship. Their partnership helps ensure quality through the milling and exporting process, which is imperative to the quality being intact once the coffee arrives in Calgary.
With a background as a computer trading company, Snap is actually quite new to coffee. It’s pretty impressive to see that in a 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, 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’ll be leaving a major mark on the Ethiopian Speciality Coffee sector in the years to come.
This green was frozen immediately upon arrival.