Ethiopian Coffee...at a glance.
Ethiopia is home to a vast landscape with geographical sub-regions ranging from dry and arid deserts to lush tropical jungles. Yet, the one defining characteristic of this diverse country in the horn of Africa is its highlands. The famous Great Rift Valley which stretches as far north as Syria runs right through Ethiopian heartlands and it is here where some of the world’s most renown Arabica coffee is produced.
Currently there are approximately 9 geographical regions within Ethiopia that produce coffee including Harrar(Harar), Sidama(Sidamo), Yirgacheffe, Limu, Djimmah(Jimma), Kaffa(Bonga), Nekempti(Lekempti), Wellega and Bebeka. And with thousands of wild varieties still unknown, Ethiopian heirlooms are either consistent year after year or completely take us by surprise with nuanced flavor profiles.
The Ethiopian Coffee Exchange(ECX) was created in 2008 as a platform to reduce price volatility for coffee producers and sellers alike. The exchange was thought to be a more modern, centralized trading system. Over the years, it has tried to improve transparency and advance the producers ability to distinguish their coffee from others. But the system has been met with challenges and producer(exporter) pushback.
In 2017, it was announced that the Ethiopian Coffee Authorities would modify the current system allowing for exporters with valid export licenses to directly sell their coffee to international buyers. We will continue to watch these developments to see how they will effect the 2017/18 coffee season. Arabica Trading House, like the rest of the coffee world, hopes this roadmap will make it easier to source green coffee directly from farmers, societies(unions) and exporters throughout Ethiopia allowing for us to build stronger relationships which offering a product that is more traceable.
Addis Exporter was founded in 1972 by Mamo Telila. With over 50 years of experience in the coffee industry, Mamo has established one of the oldest and most revered privately owned coffee export companies in Ethiopia. His son and current GM, Micheal Mamo, has worked in the family business for over 8 years. He continues to increase Addis Exporters reach across the globe and currents sits on the board of the Ethiopian Exporters Association.