Ethiopia is a magical place full of vibrant life, color, and energy. It is equally challenged by poverty, density, and lack of infrastructure. I returned with an incredible sense of gratitude, especially for the exceptional coffee produced in this amazing place.
Passing a long military convoy on our way to the new OROMIA processing mill, about an hour’s drive outside of Addis, I saw firsthand how much the nearby dangers of conflict are part of normal life here.
You will never know what you’ll see as you drive along here.
We cupped coffees with our friend and Sidama cupper, Dame Regussa, and tasted excellent examples of natural process and washed coffees from the primary cooperative Fero. Even though these coffees were from the past crop (coffee is just now ripening for next harvest) they were clean, sweet, and fragrant.
Both cooperatives we are visiting, OROMIA and the Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, are Fair Trade, and are working on both quality of coffee and quality of farmers’s lives. These two things are interwoven; quality promotes quality.
All coffee countries face their challenges, but I’m getting a clear sense that this trip in Ethiopia will bring a whole new perspective to my morning cappuccino.