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.
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.
Earl Grey & Rosehip
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.
Everyone has their favorite. Be it Kvik Lunsj, Firkløver, or Helnøtt, we all have that one particular Norwegian chocolate bar that we gravitate towards. This tasty coffee from Finca Los Pirineos in El Salvador is those of you who can’t get enough Fruktnøtt in your life.
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.
Plum & Almonds
Sold out. Having spent some time living in Andean Ecuador, only a few hundred kilometers south from where finca Los Idolos is located in Nariño, Colombia in the south western corner of Colombia, I am reminded of the immense variety of geography, climates, ecosystems, and subsequent biodiversity of this area of the world. This coffee from Edgar Meneses at Finca Los Idolos has a plum-like acidity, gentle sweetness, and is well balanced by an almond and creamy yet clear and clean body.
Honey & Rose
Sold out. That feeling when it’s still a little brisk outside, and you can’t help but sit in the bright sunshine, letting it warm you after the long dark winter. That is what this coffee is — it’s highly anticipated springtime, finally right around the corner. This cup contains honey sticky sweetness and rose; it’s balanced with a hint of refreshing bitters.
Orange & Walnut
Sold out. A bright Colombian; this is a classic coffee from Hugo Guarnizo in the Tarqui department of Colombia. It was harvested during the secondary smaller harvest that occurs in Colombia; this is known colloquially as the mitaka.