Coming into this year we knew that Ethiopia was going to play a major role in terms of where we were going to focus more time on sourcing coffees and telling the stories behind them.
I spent a day cupping with the team at Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, looking for potential blenders for Big Truck or stellar Micro Lot quality coffee. Cupping dozens upon dozens of lots in a tiny room making some of the biggest decisions you might make in a year is something that I'm used to at this point.
SCFCU small crowed cupping room in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
In the end, I ended really liking three samples and booked based on Pre ship samples. Long story short only one of the three samples I cupped in Addis Ababa ended up being of truly good quality. This one lot was from the Cooperative Gidibona Sheicha.
Over the last year I've been tasting more and more quality decaf's but primarily from a chemical process done in Colombia. Honestly I cupped some of the best Decaf's I had ever had up to this point. I really humbled me that we had some work to be done our decaf program. However I still felt passionate about offering an Organic Certified Decaf and no question I wanted to do a chemical free process. After talking with Importers to see if they would partner with Olympia Coffee to do an Organic Ethiopia toll decaf, they all said we were crazy. The price of Organic Ethiopian coffees adding on the price of tolling a decaf process would bring the per lb price to over $5. nobody would do it and they thought we were crazy to even try they said "no roaster would ever pay that much for a Decaf".
But in the end, that's exactly what we did. We purchased a high quality Micro Lot quality Certified Organic Ethiopia from Gidibona Sheicha Cooperative, then hired Swiss Water Process in Canada to do a custom decaffeination process on this amazing coffee. Yes, it's a little more expensive but tell me if it is not the best tasting decaf you have ever tasted.
Traditional Sidama home