Ethiopia Yirgacheffe 2017
Region: Yirga Cheffee Borena in Gedeo
COOP: Konga Cooperative a member of the (YCFCU) Yirgacheffe Farmers Cooperative Union
Farmer: Smallholder with average farm size of 1.5 acres
Varietal: Ethiopian Heirloom
Altitude: 1875-2050 meters
Proc. Method: Fully Washed-Dried on Raised Beds
In the Cup: Heavy Body, Creamy, Rich
The Konga Cooperative is a member of the larger organization YCFCU. The Yirgacheffe Farmers Cooperative Union has 50,000 members that are part of 24 Cooperatives.
A few years ago, the Ethiopian Government added all coffee to the commodities market. The politicians had many reasons that made sense to them at the time which included full, accurate, and timely payment of all taxes and export duties as well as timely payment to the farmers. The problem was the government didn’t fully understand specialty coffee and the unforeseen consequences. I should say unforeseen by the Ethiopian Government as the Specialty Coffee Industry anticipated the issues that became immediate reality. Without premiums being paid for quality and the homogenization that occurs with a commodified products, the quality of one of the worlds most respected coffee declined to fall below most specialty buyers minimum standards. The once powerful Ethiopian Specialty Coffee industry was on it’s knees thanks to the short sighted strategies of their government. Since those first few years, there has been some changes. The Market Exchange continues. We have bought some coffee from the Exchange the last 2 years, and plan to buy a little more this year. One of the most impactual changes to the initial program is Cooperatives with direct relationships can bypass the exchange. The YCFCU is large organization that represents 24 smaller Coops. Our Yirgacheffe offings have come to us from 2 Member Coops. Last year we featured coffee from the Harfusa Coop. This year, we are proud to offer our smallholder Yirgacheffe from the Konga Cooperative.