On a seven day trip to Ethiopia there was the immediate hot weather that is always a pleasant part of coffee field trips in the winter. It was mid January and I walked out into the lobby of the Addis airport on an afternoon arrival waiting to have a meeting with coffee logistics company, Nardos Export. I was greeted by Biniyam when I was able to give him a call on a borrowed phone after sending a couple emails to try to find him. There we were ready to drive to an area that has become famous for several coffees highly sought after around the world. The drive out of Addis Ababa to Bule Hora depends a lot on the roads. The 180 mile drive takes approximately 10 hours so it’s best that we spent 1 night in Awassa where we would then leave again to get to Sidamo.
This trip to Ethiopia was slightly different because I was going to visit the import company, but also to participate at the event of a wedding. Before Freiwot’s wedding I didn’t get a whole lot of detail, but I knew that there would be a big ceremony and I really didn’t know what to expect. So, for the most part my entire visit was surrounded around a farm style Ethiopian wedding. There was everything from a lamb given to be slaughtered to what seemed like endless bottles of wine drank, the next day our table tallied it up-6 bottles. Then several special events associated to the wedding. I cringed at some of it. Hardly having only cold water was an issue. Food was a large emphasis at the wedding and during the 2 days that it took place. This wedding a was a big occasion to attend and the rituals surrounding it gave me a new appreciation for other cultures and that way they celebrate.
During the ceremony and 1 of the days that followed I went with Biniyam to visit the Kilenso mill as well as the Eregude washing station where some of Sidamo’s finest coffee comes from. New arrivals of both a natural process from the new crop picking and also this time the washed process are scheduled to ship this month. Both are really diverse coffees based on the care that is given to the way that the natural coffees are dried on raised tables, sorted ( hand picked for defect), then dry milled in Sidamo before going to Addis and exported to the importers in the U.S.A. The fully washed coffees exhibit a much more winey taste from the immediate pulping that occurs when the ripe fruit is picked then it is channeled through fermentation tanks and screen sorted before drying on raised screen tables.
After the new coffees arrive they will be sample roasted and phased into Greenstreet Coffee Co.’s ever expanding rotation of seasonal coffees.