All Coffee is sold as Whole beans.
- Producer cherries from smallholder farmers around Chelbesa town, processing managed by Girum Assefa
- Attributes bed-dried, Wolisho, Dega varietals
- Origin Gedeb, Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia
- Flavours Earl grey, rose, stewed rhubarb, caramel
This fine Yirgacheffe coffee comes a washing station located near the town (kebele) of Chelbesa, in Gedeb woreda, Gedeo Zone, SNNPR. The station is at about 2050 metres above the sea (important because altitude contributes to complexity of acidity and sweetness levels), and it’s located in a region that has pretty much perfect conditions for growing, drying and processing coffee (truly – better soil & plant health, cultivar selection, cherry maturation and a more ideal overall climate we have scarcely ever seen in all of our travels). Chelbesa is owned and operated by SNAP Coffee Trading, and is expertly managed by Girum Assefa. During our visit in February, we watched as under Girum’s watchful eye the station received and processed the cherries delivered by over 460 farmers (possessing Dega, Kurume and Wolisho varietals) who live around the area and deliver the coffee by mule and on their backs. The story of SNAP coffee is an interesting one. We’re told that SNAP’s owner (computer importer Negusse Debela) drank an Ethiopian pour-over while on a trip to Minnesota and had a coffee epiphany, realising the goodness of what he had long taken for granted. On his return home, he set off on a mission to become Ethiopia’s best coffee exporter. Negusse hired the now legendary coffee professional Abenezer Asfaw to run his supply chain and sales. SNAP now operates 4 washing stations (two in Gedeb – Chelbesa and Danche Chelbesa, one in Uraga, Guji, and another in Chelelektu, Yirgacheffe) and partners with numerous others. SNAP is a fully integrated participant in Ethiopian coffee trade, overseeing the whole process: from washing station to logistics, dry milling, quality process and export. We cupped samples all the way from parchment stored at the washing station up to coffee arrived into the warehouse in Addis Ababa months later to make our lot selections, ending up with three SNAP purchases. This one is a dry-fermented experimental lot from the middle of the harvest. What’s “dry fermented” mean? In this case it means DELICIOUS! (for the aficionados, we’d say it contributes a higher fruit feeling and concentratedness in the acidity).
In the 2020 buying season, Ethiopian government authorities set minimum coffee sales prices by region, coffee grade and seller type. The minimum pricing stipulated by the authorities for the grades and type we buy fluctuated between $3.10 and $4.20 a pound (USD, FOB Djibouti) during the buying season. We’re stoked that Ethiopia has managed to command such a premium above commodity coffee prices (roughly a 1/4 to a 1/3 of the above prices). With this very safe “fairness” price floor in place, we do not disclose our prices in Ethiopia since, above these minimums stipulated, pricing is basically set by the seller.