Ethiopia Basha Bekele
Region: Sidama, Kokose
Producer(s): Basha Bekele and 120 registered smallholder farmers
Variety: 74158 (Heirloom Variety)
Altitude: 2215 Meters Above Sea Level
Processing: Natural Process
Flavor Notes: Raspberry + Nectarine
Coffees from Ethiopia have always been highly sought-after in the specialty coffee world. It is one of, if not the oldest, coffee producing origins in the world, and is often considered the birthplace of coffee. Even though there are now over 50 coffee-producing countries, Ethiopia is still among the top producers. The crop has been such a big part of the country's economy that in 2008 they created the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange, known as ECX, to help manage and stabilize the sale of coffee in the country. Though it started with the best of intentions, it has caused some problems for specialty coffee. Most notably, it makes traceability very difficult. Over the years since its inception, some of these regulations have relaxed a little and more direct traceability and trade has been able to be arranged. This is how our importing friends at Crop to Cup were able to source this coffee directly from producer Basha Bekele.
Basha owns a drying mill in the town of Bombe in the Sidama region of Ethiopia. Coffee is in his family, since his father, a leader in his community, was the manager for the community’s cooperative. Together, they supplied coffee to Sidama Union before the ECX regulations were relaxed in order to allow individual coffee producers to obtain export licenses. With license in hand, he now operates cherry collection sites in three towns, and has 12 hectares of land where he grows coffee (mostly of the heirloom variety 74158 - locally called ‘Walega’). He is also able to sell outside of the ECX, which is how we were able to get our hands on this lot of coffee from his farm. All of Basha’s coffee is natural-processed, although he experiments with different drying techniques. His processing skill really shows in the cup, as this coffee is extremely clean and refined for a natural. Beyond being a talented producer and processor, it is notable to mention that Basha was able to give an upfront payment to the 126 other farmers that provided his mill with coffee (upon receiving cherries), and a secondary payment upon sale. Early payments like this help with more economic stability in their community.
We love having coffees from Ethiopia on our menu! They tend to have these big berry flavors and intense floral notes that are hard to find (in this level of intensity) from many other coffee growing areas. This coffee lives up to those big flavor notes, but also surprises us with its clarity of flavor. This is a delicate and fruit-forward coffee with wonderful notes of fresh raspberry, floral honey, and nectarine supported by a big body and a long, lingering finish. This coffee is a little bit of sunshine in a cup, which is that much more welcome during these shorter days. Enjoy!
All coffees are available in whole bean only.
We roast and ship on Mondays and Thursdays. Orders placed Thursday through Sunday at midnight will roast and ship on Monday. Orders placed Monday through Wednesday at midnight will roast and ship on Thursday.