Not sure what it is with Ethiopia as there is always a childish excitement building up when you get close to the season and the first arrivals. You can expect a standout range of washed and naturals this year. And yes, it’s finally happening, we have our first Ethiopian containers ready to ship. Pre-shipment samples are approved and we can very soon start sending out samples to all of you. Right now we are waiting for more sample materials, but if your in a hurry or want to lock in some early stuff you can come and cup with us in the following places:
- Friday 15th – Oslo sneak peak. We will cup a limited selection of the first shipments of Ethiopia and Kenya. RSVP to Alec@nordicapproach.no if you want to join.
- 20th & 21st of March – London sneak peak. We will cup a limited selection of the first shipments from Ethiopia and Kenya.
- Oslo Spring Cupping: 3rd – 5th of April – Oslo Spring cupping, We’ll cup a broad range of both incoming and new offers to be shipped later.
But if you are not in a hurry there will be a lot come later on. And as many of you know, when these coffees are rested for some months it’s even easier to see the true flavors of these coffees as they get more complex and nuanced after some months.
Also, if you know what you are interested in buying this season let us know and we will start planning and set aside samples for you.
Cupping and selection
After the liberalization (from the ECX) all our coffees this year are bought directly from producers/washing stations/farms. For many of them there are premium programs where producers are getting 2nd payments.
We have narrowed it down to selected suppliers where we know we have priority and pre booked/contracted a lot of coffees before the season
Our Tropiq Ethiopia team in the Addis office are constantly now running around to warehouses to take samples from the primary washing stations we work with ourselves. This way we have the first hand info and trace ability on the coffees we are cupping and buying.
We, from the Oslo office, have already been there in three periods since Christmas to cup. As always we are tasting our way through heaps of coffees. There is a lot of good ones, and we are trying to not get lost. Cupping the coffees when fresh take some experience, so besides selecting the obviously high scoring ones right now we have to try to look for the hidden gems that are closed this early in the season, but that will open beautifully at a later stage. Many of the washing stations we work with produces a lot of coffees. By cupping through a broad selection from all the different outturns from a producer we select the ones we find better in quality with the flavor profiles we are looking for. As soon as we have something on the table we like, we confirm that specific lot. The next thing will be for the Addis team to be there and follow up during milling and preparation for exports.
Shipping and timeline
Most of our producing partners are located in the highlands of Guji, Yirgacheffe, Sidamo in the south and Agaro in the west, many of them in altitudes above 2000 masl. Harvesting was ongoing until February many places so it is still early.
As always we are never taking firm decisions on coffees before the stock-lots are in the warehouses in Addis. The first coffees coming in from the washing stations are washed, and naturals are coming in later, meaning starting now. The first washed coffees we have should be in Europe by end April. Even if it is very early for natural coffees we have also here started to make an early selection from the Addis warehouse, that should be on the water within the next 4 weeks, arriving end of May. And that goes for our broader range in general, they will arrive between May and July.
Our own magic preps
We are particularly excited this year as we have both worked differently and harder than ever before to increase the quality on our regular range of value added Grade 1s, As well as we have some great new projects going with both old and new producers. And even more so we have produced our own small range of special prep. Some crazy stuff, yes, but we have already gotten a lot of interest from the few that’s been tasting it in Ethiopia. That said, we have not offered it to anyone yet as we have to look at final pricing and volumes before we are putting it out there.
Anasora is located at 2300 masl based in West Arsi. It receives coffee from some of the highest elevations in Ethiopia. In the pictures you see some of our custom made drying beds that we use for our natural process experiments. The goal is to increase clarity and fruit characters through having a thin layer, better airflow and constant rotation and sorting of the cherry.
Poly-bag fermentation at Adola. We fill the bags with fresh cherries, stack 2 and 2 on top of each other, rotate every 12 hours for 5 days. The theory is that we restrict air, increase development of lactic bacteria that should result in intense, fruity and sweet coffees. They are then put on drying beds and dried for 15-20 days.
If you want to come cup with us check out the scheduled trip below with us at Nordic. Or if you at any given time are floating around in Addis you are always welcome to come to our office in Addis and cup. Plan this visits directly with our Ethiopian team of Tropiq Ethiopia. Please contact Marco or Ted, and feel free to keep Alexander on CC.
24th to 29th of March – Cupping at the peak
Alexander and the Addis team will be there to cup through loads of samples. This is normally the best time to cup to see the broadest range of both washed and naturals. The coffees are also a little rested so it might be easier to select what you are looking for. You can stay there all week, or just come for some days to cup offer samples with us. We will make sure you have a lot of options related to what you are looking for. Let us know in advance when you will be there.
Fly in and out any days between the 24th and 29th of March.
Let us know your schedule and we can arrange accommodation for you. This trip can also be combined with cupping in Kenya. Confirm your trip with with firstname.lastname@example.org