This is the dry mill and warehouse belonging to the Oromia Union just outside Addis Ababa. The mill is extremely modern and well organized. Equipment is good, and they are putting a lot of effort in to grading, sorting and quality control.

By Morten Wennersgaard

I recently spent a week in Addis to gather samples and to cup and take position in coffees. At this point it’s mainly Yirgacheffe and Sidamo coffees from private wet millers and producers in Kochere, Wote (Konga), Chelelektu, Aricha, Guji, Dumerso. The quality of what we found so far is outstanding! The coffees are still fresh, and for that reason a little muted, but compared to what we cupped and bought at the same time last year I believe that the cup profile will be even better than for the 2013 coffees. We know that the coffees will mature by the time of delivery, and when we find coffees that shine on the table at this point it’s pretty exciting, as we know it will just get better. We have already taken buying decisions on coffees that will be shipped to Europe very soon. We will get is some mixed containers of these coffees, and should see some pre-shipment samples soon.

Horizon is the latest warehouse and dry mill in Addis. This is where most of the Coffees from the Sidama, Yirga, Kaffa and Limu Unions is stored and milled. Even some of our coffees from the private producers is stored here. They will then have their own assigned area as well as their own people following the coffee step by step.While Seife was down south in Yirgacheffe meeting producers together with a group of clients I spent days meeting Unions and exporters, visiting the warehouses for our coffees. This is Negatus from the Kaffa Union pulling our samples of Michiti and Chiri.

Most of the coffees from the Cooperatives are not yet coming in to the warehouse at the dry mill. We always take buying decisions on the coffees when they are actual stock lots in the warehouse so that we know the quality offered to us is very accurate according to what’s getting milled and shipped. This is more challenging if you take random samples from bags of parchment at the washing station. Anyway, we will see samples of a lot of this stuff shortly. Still we are just contracting organic coffees from the Sidama Union like Hunkute, Bokasso, and then coffees from the Technoserve cooperatives in the west like Bifdu Gudina, Duromina, Chiri, Michiti, and hopfully some Debello.

The catch of the day! I was collecting samples and then spent some days to roast and cup in Addis. With and without clients and potential buyers.

In general the coffees bought right now is coffees that’s been going through a special prep with extended quality control at the private wet mills. Through our partners in Ethiopia we can pretty accurately tell you where and how the coffee is processed. If done well they get rated as Grade – 1, by the ECX system before they get sold. ECX is grading every coffee offered for export in Ethiopia. There are not to many coffees presented at this grade in general, and there is a big competition to get hold on those at the auction.

Spent some days roasting all kind of coffees at the BNT exporters lab. Got pretty good friends with this CoffeePro electric sample roaster.

After days of cupping we did a wrap cupping tasting of all the best coffees tasted throughout the week. The lots are basically being contracted as this week. As many of the coffees are ready to be rolled out we are hoping for some early shipments this year. If we are really lucky we will se the coffees coming to Europe in about a 6 weeks time.

Always interesting to cup in different environments. As the altitude in Addis is above 2000 meters above sea level extraction is very different than at home. The water hardness as well as the freshness of the green coffee makes you have to adjust and see the potential taking all this parameters in to consideration. It's a challenge, but very rewarding when you get it right.