2018 was a big year for Ethiopian coffee producers as requirements for the ECX (Ethiopian Commodity Exchange) changed, no longer requiring producers to sell their coffee directly to the exchange. The Ethiopian government now allows for direct sales to importers, like Nordic Approach. Additionally, the removal of these requirements allows for full control of supply chain and traceability where it once was not possible.
Isreal Degba, the owner of the communal wet mill Qore, has previously focused on quantity under the old ECX requirements, whereas in just the last couple of years, he has been anticipating this change and has focused on improved quality and traceability. Isreal has purchased new flotations systems for several of the wet mills he owns, has invested in a new warehouse in Addis, and is working towards Rainforest Alliance certification. Additionally, the farmers he works with have the opportunity to undergo further training, second payouts, and can receive coffee seedlings to increase the coffee varieties found on the farms in the areas around the communal mills. Isreal has worked closely in partnership with Nordic Approach to continue this focus on care and quality in the last couple of years.
That sweetheart honey processing: During the 2018 season, hundreds of smallholder farmers delivered their small harvest to the Qore washing station on a daily basis. When the cherries were delivered they went through initial sorting using a newly implemented flotation system before they were hand-sorted. The coffee was then depulped and graded based on density. The denser beans were then labeled for honey production. At this stage all of the mucilage remained on the coffee, meaning this coffee could be categorized as a black honey. The coffee then was spread out in a fairly thick layer under the sun, being covered at night, without much movement or rotation so that it dried slowly, intentionally allowed to become sticky and stuck together. After the initial drying days the coffee then needed to be moved and cracked apart. It then dried on raised beds for approximately another 20 days, being sorted during that time for defects.
Qore Wet Mill -- Kochere, Ethiopia
Isreal Degfa & Kochere smallholder farmers
collectively Heirloom, including but not limited to Certo, Wolisho, and local native Typica hybrids
smallholder farmers association
Sandy Loom, grown amongst Wanza, berbera, Sasa and Shola shade trees.
Nectarine & Dark Chocolate
We taste 80% dark chocolate and stone fruit, specifically nectarine, along with some creamy & bitter walnut.
Hazelnut & Mandarin
Creamy chocolate, thick and rich with super sweet mandarin and stone fruit.
Jasmine & peach
Peaches & cream, in the way only an Ethiopian coffee can bring you all of the peaches and cream. Jasmine flowers and intricate bitters that stimulate your senses to finish it off. We’ve immensely enjoyed coffee from the Boji wet mill in the Kochere region on multiple occasions and are thrilled to bring it back for another run.
Roasted walnut & grape
This coffee is technically a blend, but it’s not your average blend. By purchasing this coffee, you are directly supporting 15 small coffee pickers. You are supporting fair pay, legal and safe health care, and pension payments.
Lingonberry & Cream
It’s as though a human-sized raspberry is running full speed ahead at you, into your mouth - you’re a little freaked out by it, but then it gives you a massive sweet juicy hug and all is well with the world. So sugar cane sweet, bold and bright. Uniquely fresh crop Kenyan in the very best way.
Earl Grey & Rosehip
Sold out. It’s calm with a lovely lightly bitter black tea aftertaste, has a grounded structure, and it doesn’t have that super typical natural funkiness (though definitely still a natural). There's fruit as you'd expect: papaya and lime. We're happy to share this easy drinking coffee as we roll into summertime.