We rarely offer natural coffees, and it’s been many years since we offered an Ethiopian natural, but each year during my visits to Ethiopia, I’m cupping and exploring opportunities. This last season (2018/2019 harvest), I came across this coffee and it stopped me in my tracks. The best cups of it are so clean and sweet, you’d never know it was a natural coffee!
This station is on the smaller side, processing coffee for 389 small holder farmers. I was happy to hear that they’re offering 2nd payments to growers, as the prices paid to farmers upon receipt of coffee cherry are just too low—everywhere in Ethiopia—in my view.
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 passion 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 manger for Snap. Abenezer is only a young man (compared to me ;-), but that’s really 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.
Last season in my coffee descriptions, I talked about focusing more on the genetics of coffee varieties, to learn and understand them better. On my January 2019 trip to Ethiopia, I had the pleasure of spending time with Getu Bekele, co-author of the book: Ethiopian Coffee Varieties. If you’re interested in learning more about Ethiopian coffee, stop and buy that book right away! Of course, I’ve read the book cover-to-cover, and I peppered Getu with questions that he graciously answered.
This particular coffee is a single regional land race variety called: Kurume. As always, this green was frozen immediately upon arrival.