Sunday, March 02, 2008


Ethiopia In The Year 2000

According to the Ethiopian thirteen month calendar, this year is the year 2000. It has been quite a year: banners, flags, t-shirts, a Beyonce concert in Addis, and, not at all related to the millennium, coffee prices that are offered at quite a bit higher than last year.

We were in the Harrar, Sidamo, and Yirgacheffe regions for eight days in early February. At that time, the C market was back at 1.30, which as you know, now seems cheap. Regardless of the market, after our visit and tasting the new crop samples, we can say with great confidence that the quality of Ethiopian coffee this year is going to be way, way….way better than last year.

Since all Ethiopian coffee is sun dried---as far as I know there are no mechanical driers in the country---it is essential to have sunny dry weather during the harvest, which of course last year they did not have. Last year, there were torrential rains and floods right at this critical juncture. All the production suffered, but particularly the natural Sidamo and Harrar. It is hard to erase from memory the flavors of some of last year’s defective and frighteningly weird coffees.

Happily for all concerned, this year’s weather was ideal and has contributed to excellent cupping coffees. You can expect quite a rebound for quality. We have bought some great coffees which you can book now and expect to receive in April. Here are a few to consider:

REF 17515-18 MAO Harrar Horse …classic blueberry flavor.

REF 17695 & 17696 Organic & RFA cert. Natural and Washed Sidamo “Koratie”…these were the two best coffees we cupped on our trip.

REF 17672 & 17686 Organic Natural Djimma Special Prep….muted fruit and natural soft cup. Dried on raised beds and free of defects. Not all Djimma has to be low-priced swill.

Additional Blog Reader Spot Standouts:

16537 Brazil Cerrado…if you like good Brazil coffee that tastes like good Brazil coffee, you’ll love these---soft, nutty, slightly chalky natural flavor.

16613 Colombian Supremo…just a few bags of this over-achiever still available.
16741, 42, & 43 Colombian Huila Valencia Supremo…good value and very good cup.

17394 & 17397 Kenya Gethumbiwini AA & PB …Don’t hesitate.

16682 Yemen Mocca Sanani…bittersweet fruity dark chocolate. Excellent example of a fine Yemen.

17112 Peru FTO excellent delivery at the end of the season.

ALL SUMATRA… You can’t go wrong on Sumatra quality. Right now is the best time to sample and choose from our large selection of spot inventory. The best coffees are here, available, and ready to ship. The Sumatra crop will now slow down at origin until July.

And finally….Recent exciting standouts from the pre-shipment approval table:

17096,97,98,99 Colombian Guayata…due mid March
15973& 74 Costa SHB La Rosa….March Ship/April arrival
15987 Guatemalan SHB El Injertal….March Ship/April arrival

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