I came across this article about Fair Trade at the Oromia Cooperative in Ethiopia. The article touches on a Fairtrade Climate Standard to help farmers acquire an alternative stove – to replace the traditional ‘three-stone’ fire. Given the cooperative’s focus on coffee, the new stoves are destined for coffee producers. The stoves mean that there is less need for gathering of firewood, ergo more time for other activities, less pressure on the standing forest, and less smoke in the home. While there are all sorts of additional spokes to the wheel of combatting climate change, this is one positive effort for a coffee producing cooperative. And, this particular cooperative produce some excellent organic coffee beans, which we enjoy roasting and brewing. Groups like FairTrade International and 1% For Women provide great opportunity for agriculturalists worldwide, and especially women farmers. We at the Roastery are proud members of both groups.
Here at the Roastery, I have often been slow to embrace marketing ourselves. As some folk from out of Buena Vista know, we carry a lot of various coffees in the shop that I periodically post for offering online, but mostly just keep it quiet. However, it is time to promote our great microlot coffees with more fervor. So, I will let you all know of our first Microlot Coffee officially announced. It is a Fair Trade Organic Ethiopian Ademegorbota, a washed Yirgacheffe. We’ve roasted it as a ‘medium’ in our classification system, highlighting the Bergamot, blueberry, and lemongrass while adding a enough body for the flavors to linger and give the satisfaction of having had a great cup of coffee.
The Ademegorbota Cooperative is located just outside of the town Yirgacheffe. This coffee, grown at altitudes of up to about 7500 feet, is the highest growing area in the country. The 1,220 member cooperative has recently reorganized after some management issues, and we are fortunate to receive their first harvest since this time. The previous cooperative, Kelo, had been renown for its incredible profiles found in its coffees.
We are very excited to present the Ademegorbota as a part of the Buena Vista Roastery’s high altitude grown coffee selection.
I’ve been enjoying the fruity and hoppy unwashed Ethiopian Sidamo that we’ve had in these past couple of months. The berry notes are mellow and smooth, and complement the body maintained by our high altitude roasting. With that said, I came across an interesting article and report on National Public Radio talking about how far Ethiopian coffees have come, particularly since they were known as “Jimma 5” coffee. Jimma 5 coffee was known for containing all 5 of the major defects; the more defects you have in your green beans, the worse it is and therefore an inevitability of a bad cup of coffee (unless you like Folgers and such). Inspecting the Specialty Grade beans from Ethiopia anymore and you find very clean, very uniform beans. Perhaps it is the nationalization of the Ethiopian coffee industry and their country-wide use of the logo. Perhaps it is due to assistance programs. Perhaps it is due to evermore sophisticated palates. In nay case, I for one am grateful to have Ethiopian on hand and ready to roast, grind, and brew.
This just in – a new crop of Fair Trade Organic Ethiopia Harrar. We’re rather pleased with the light caramel, heavy body and raspberry finish of this heritage coffee. A wild strain, the Harrar has been a stalwart seasonal for us at the Roastery in Buena Vista, home of Bongo Billy’s Coffees. We have one bag of it, so get it while you can. Today I’ll roast some more, with a cupping on Friday morning, if you’re in the area.