Research

Coffee Profile: Washed Gesha, Gesha Village Estate

23204926041_ca4a667dc2_z (1)
23204926041_ca4a667dc2_z (1)

Name: Gesha Village
Nearest Town: Gesha
Location: Southwest Ethiopia
Average Annual Rainfall (mm): 1150
Altitude (masl): 1900-2100m
Number of hectares: 471
Hectares cultivated: 320
Shade: Agro-forestry system with mix of indigenous shade trees
Process: Washed
Drying Method: Sun
Harvest Method: Handpicking
Main Harvest Season: November- January
Varieties: Wild Gesha
Soil: Virgin forest, brown loam soil


About

Washed Gesha goes through a mechanical demucilager, soaked for 24-36 hours and then shade dried to 30 percent moisture content.It is then transferred to a raised African bed for further drying before it is bagged and stored for export.


Cupping Notes

Lot 14(WHQ-G1-14):With hints of peach and cranberry, Lot 14 scored 87 points for its tropical profile.Smooth with light florals notes, this Gesha lot is easy on the palate.

Lot 21(WHQ-G1-121):With a burst of aromatic fruits, Lot 21 scored a high of 87.5 points during CCS cuppings in both North American and Europe with everyone noting the cups sweetness even as it cooled.Reminiscent of baked pears, this Gesha lot is elegant and complete.

Lot 32(WHQ-G1-32):A welcome to late Summer/ early Autumn, Lot 32 scored in at 87 points and is full of deep red berries and apricots.The mouthfeel of this washed Gesha is full and lingers pleasantly after each sip.

Lot 123(WHQ-G1-123):This lot scored a high of 87 points for its transparent qualities.With very subdued acidity levels, the introduction of Lot 123 from Gesha Village offers a melange of cooked berries.Blackberries and lingonberries are very prominent and has a clean finish. 
 

The Backstory

The Gesha Village journey began back in 2007 when Adam Overton and Rachel Samuel were making a documentary about Ethiopian coffee for the Ethiopian government. It was during this project that they were first introduced to Dr. Girma, their guide through the Gera Coffee Forest near Jimma. Dr. Girma is a coffee researcher and is a wealth of information about coffee agronomy, and farm management. During the process of creating this documentary, Rachel was reintroduced to her birth country and Adam became fascinated by the rich coffee history of the birthplace of coffee.

By the end of this coffee expedition, the couple felt compelled to start their own coffee farm. They saw too much unexplored potential and opportunity in Ethiopia’s wild coffee forests to ignore. Even though the country’s coffee trade was established long ago, Ethiopia’s coffee sector as a whole is far behind newer coffee origins in terms of agricultural and processing innovations as well as terroir distinctions, which these days are two of the most important distinctions between specialty and commercial coffee. Adam and Rachel are fully utilizing this gap in the Ethiopian specialty market in establishing Gesha Village Estate.

From 2007-2010, the couple scoured the country in search for the perfect place to set up their project. One of the initial criteria was that the farm should be within close proximity to the capital city, Addis Ababa, due to practical transport considerations. More importantly, however, were other considerations:

  • Altitude: between 1800-2100 meters above sea level
  • A relatively large piece of land (over 100 hectares)
  • Old growth/primary forest
  • Established shade trees
  • Road access
  • Access to labour
  • No displacement of inhabitants
23287555755_9bdbd51a95_z.jpg

As they surveyed place after place, they drew further and further away from Addis. Finally, they found Gesha town, very close to Ethiopia’s border with Sudan, in the far western region of the country. During their reconnaissance, they found wild coffee growing within pristine forest. This coffee paradise, combined with meeting some inhabitants from the Meanit community who indigenous to the area, also drew the couple in. This was a place and people where something completely cutting-edge could happen. In autumn of 2011 the lease for the 471 hectares that now make up Gesha Village Estate was signed and soon after, Akalu, Gesha Village’s (GV) Farm Manager was hired. He, together with the newly established GV team, began doing a forest exploration where they picked wild seeds from the nearby Gori Gesha forest.

After a year in the nursery, these seeds were planted on 30 hectares and at the same time, the team began acquainting themselves with the Meanit neighbours that lived around them. This initial 30 hectares made up GV’s first “test plot” – the team wanted to ensure the cup quality was good before more coffee was planted. The first 1kg sample was sent to Adam and Rachel’s friend Willem Boot in the spring of 2012 even before they themselves had a chance to cup. Willem in turn organized a Cupping Caravan in Ethiopia where cuppers were blown away by the coffee. At this point, the GV team knew that they were onto something special.

Before getting too ahead of themselves, the team decided to visit their neighbours’ coffee farms in order to both study the morphology of more established trees, which also came from forest seeds, and also to cup their neighbours’ coffees to further understand what they were working with at GV. As exciting as cultivating forest coffee was, the team understood that planting one of any variety was risky and on the advice of Akalu and Dr. Girma, decided to plant a good portion of GV with tried and tested Ethiopian heirloom varieties released from the Jimma Argicultural Research Center (JARC). These released varieties come from various seed collection expeditions that JARC has conducted.

Wild varieties collected during expeditions are studied and researchers are looking for the following characteristics in determining which are “superior plants”: a) showing disease resistance; b) excellent cup quality; and c) good yield. Plants showing these characteristics are chosen for release and GV chose to plant a variety that originated in the highland coffee forests of Illubabor. This one showed both disease resistance and excellent cup quality.

We can say that over the course of cupping the different varieties produced on GV, these research varieties have some of the most exciting cup profiles that Gesha Village have produced. With varieties playing such an important role in quality and cup profile, it makes perfect sense that the GV team found research partners to carry out a methodical genetic study on the Gesha forest varieties. Part of that study concerns the possible connection between Panamanian geisha and coffee from the Gori Gesha Forest. You can access the study’s findings here.


The Community

Before the project started in earnest, the GV team gathered the elders and wise men from the local Meanit community in order to explain the project as well as hear out the community’s thoughts and concerns about it. Though successful as an introduction, the team understood from the beginning that a real partnership would take time and effort and one of the early challenges GV faced was finding labourers. There was a stigma against working for someone else as most people already had their own garden farms.

23287559545_efff52ce74_z.jpg

Over time, women began working with the farm and since they earned their own income for the first time, this early labour force attracted more and more people, eventually both women and men. Today, GV can attract up to 800 workers per day coming from 17,000 families. These workers come from 5-6 different kebeles (localities) spanning from Gesha Mountain to Gori Gesha Forest.

Now that a good relationship has been established between Gesha Village Estate and their surrounding communities, three local representatives have been appointed to liaise between the farm and its neighbouring communities.


Social Projects

Nearby to Gesha Village are three government run schools and one clinic. These are all within a short walking distance from the estate and this is significant as in rural Ethiopia, many students must walk up to three hours in order to get to school.

Gesha Village provides school supplies to students and is currently working with the clinic in order to figure out the best way to support its operation.

One other community project that the GV team is focusing its efforts on is distributing fuel efficient and cleaner burning stoves to their neighbours. Most households currently use outdated stoves that require lots of wood/fuel and burn a lot of waste particles into the atmosphere.

For the past 3 years GV has given away 25,000 coffee seedlings per year to neighbouring farmers. The team also provide agronomy training when the farmers pick up their seedlings. GV hopes to grow coffee production in the surrounding area so that local farmers can grow benefit from the innovations employed at GV.


Agricultural Projects

On the botanical side of the spectrum, the GV team planted a research plot in early 2016 that is made up various of indigenous coffee varieties. This will allow the team, including Dr. Girma, to better study varieties. The team is keen to continue partnering public/educational partners to carry out future research that will add to the knowledge they’ve already accumulated from the genetic study they worked on in 2014 with Dr. Sarada Krishnan from Denver Botanic Gardens (mentioned earlier).

In addition to coffee, GV is currently testing apple and honey cultivation. The motivation behind these two projects is mostly one of curiosity, but who knows where things will lead?

22991764230_61bc816d76_z.jpg

Production Projects

The GV processing facility is upgrading to a custom-made Penagos pulper, which will be installed in 2017. This pulper sorts under and overripe cherries through water pressure and will help out the manual pickers, who sometimes find it difficult to pick the different plots which are planted with different varieties and hence have different morphology.

Finally, the team is researching how to build a warehouse on-site. They have found a potential supplier but given the poor road conditions between Addis and Gesha, the logistics for getting the materials to the farm first needs to be solved.


Partnership with CCS

Team CCS is proud to have the distinct honour of being the only coffee importer in Europe and the US to be working with Gesha Village Estate. While Adam & Rachel and their team do run direct sales with roasting partners, both CCS & Gesha Village saw an opportunity to work together to further distribute Gesha Village coffees to great homes around the world.

Both projects share similar values in promoting excellent coffee while building a transparent and a partnership-based buying community, so it made sense to join forces in the effort to spread the coffee and word about the phenomenal work of Gesha Village Estate.

23287632835_04e4995d4b_z.jpg

Coffee Profile: Natural Gesha, Gesha Village Estate

23261512476_975c8a6b91_z
23261512476_975c8a6b91_z

Name: Gesha Village
Province: Gesha
Location: Southwest Ethiopia
Average Annual Rainfall (mm): 1150
Altitude (masl): 1900-2100m
Number of hectares: 471
Hectares cultivated: 320
Shade: Agro-forestry system with mix of indigenous shade trees
Process: Natural
Drying Method: Sun
Harvest Method: Handpicking
Main Harvest Season: November- January
Varieties: Wild Gesha
Soil: Virgin forest, brown loam soil


About

Naturals from The Gesha Village go through a rigorous selection process.Run through a wash, floaters are removed and all quality cherries are transferred to raised African beds where they are dried in thin layers using a parabolic plastic cover.


Cupping Notes

Lot 1.4(NHQ-G1-1.4): Tropical with clear aromatics of Guava, this natural lot from Gesha Village is bright and flavorful and scored a high of 87.5.Full of cantaloupe, the finish is refreshing.

Lot 1314(NHQ-G1-1314):A very floral natural Gesha, Lot 1314 combines the acidity of apples with hints of mango.Long yet sweet, this lots allows you to savor the complexity of Gesha in a naturally complex state.Scoring 87 points during cupping, it lives up to its name.

Lot 1617(NHQ-G1-1617):The highest score of our Gesha naturals(88 points), Lot 1617 is a wonderful experience combining orange blossoms and rose petals.With a sparkling acidity level, this lot is bright with a slight hint of rosemary.

Lot 7910(NHQ-G1-7910): With a score of 87, this natural Gesha is vibrant and full of bright red berries.Raspberry is very prominent with notes of red apples adding a hint of sweetness. 
 

The Backstory

The Gesha Village journey began back in 2007 when Adam Overton and Rachel Samuel were making a documentary about Ethiopian coffee for the Ethiopian government. It was during this project that they were first introduced to Dr. Girma, their guide through the Gera Coffee Forest near Jimma. Dr. Girma is a coffee researcher and is a wealth of information about coffee agronomy, and farm management. During the process of creating this documentary, Rachel was reintroduced to her birth country and Adam became fascinated by the rich coffee history of the birthplace of coffee.

By the end of this coffee expedition, the couple felt compelled to start their own coffee farm. They saw too much unexplored potential and opportunity in Ethiopia’s wild coffee forests to ignore. Even though the country’s coffee trade was established long ago, Ethiopia’s coffee sector as a whole is far behind newer coffee origins in terms of agricultural and processing innovations as well as terroir distinctions, which these days are two of the most important distinctions between specialty and commercial coffee. Adam and Rachel are fully utilizing this gap in the Ethiopian specialty market in establishing Gesha Village Estate.

From 2007-2010, the couple scoured the country in search for the perfect place to set up their project. One of the initial criteria was that the farm should be within close proximity to the capital city, Addis Ababa, due to practical transport considerations. More importantly, however, were other considerations:

  • Altitude: between 1800-2100 meters above sea level
  • A relatively large piece of land (over 100 hectares)
  • Old growth/primary forest
  • Established shade trees
  • Road access
  • Access to labour
  • No displacement of inhabitants
23287555755_9bdbd51a95_z.jpg

As they surveyed place after place, they drew further and further away from Addis. Finally, they found Gesha town, very close to Ethiopia’s border with Sudan, in the far western region of the country. During their reconnaissance, they found wild coffee growing within pristine forest. This coffee paradise, combined with meeting some inhabitants from the Meanit community who indigenous to the area, also drew the couple in. This was a place and people where something completely cutting-edge could happen. In autumn of 2011 the lease for the 471 hectares that now make up Gesha Village Estate was signed and soon after, Akalu, Gesha Village’s (GV) Farm Manager was hired. He, together with the newly established GV team, began doing a forest exploration where they picked wild seeds from the nearby Gori Gesha forest.

After a year in the nursery, these seeds were planted on 30 hectares and at the same time, the team began acquainting themselves with the Meanit neighbours that lived around them. This initial 30 hectares made up GV’s first “test plot” – the team wanted to ensure the cup quality was good before more coffee was planted. The first 1kg sample was sent to Adam and Rachel’s friend Willem Boot in the spring of 2012 even before they themselves had a chance to cup. Willem in turn organized a Cupping Caravan in Ethiopia where cuppers were blown away by the coffee. At this point, the GV team knew that they were onto something special.

23204926041_ca4a667dc2_z-1.jpg

Before getting too ahead of themselves, the team decided to visit their neighbours’ coffee farms in order to both study the morphology of more established trees, which also came from forest seeds, and also to cup their neighbours’ coffees to further understand what they were working with at GV. As exciting as cultivating forest coffee was, the team understood that planting one of any variety was risky and on the advice of Akalu and Dr. Girma, decided to plant a good portion of GV with tried and tested Ethiopian heirloom varieties released from the Jimma Argicultural Research Center (JARC). These released varieties come from various seed collection expeditions that JARC has conducted.

Wild varieties collected during expeditions are studied and researchers are looking for the following characteristics in determining which are “superior plants”: a) showing disease resistance; b) excellent cup quality; and c) good yield. Plants showing these characteristics are chosen for release and GV chose to plant a variety that originated in the highland coffee forests of Illubabor. This one showed both disease resistance and excellent cup quality.

We can say that over the course of cupping the different varieties produced on GV, these research varieties have some of the most exciting cup profiles that Gesha Village have produced. With varieties playing such an important role in quality and cup profile, it makes perfect sense that the GV team found research partners to carry out a methodical genetic study on the Gesha forest varieties. Part of that study concerns the possible connection between Panamanian geisha and coffee from the Gori Gesha Forest. You can access the study’s findings here.


The Community

Before the project started in earnest, the GV team gathered the elders and wise men from the local Meanit community in order to explain the project as well as hear out the community’s thoughts and concerns about it. Though successful as an introduction, the team understood from the beginning that a real partnership would take time and effort and one of the early challenges GV faced was finding labourers. There was a stigma against working for someone else as most people already had their own garden farms.

23287559545_efff52ce74_z.jpg

Over time, women began working with the farm and since they earned their own income for the first time, this early labour force attracted more and more people, eventually both women and men. Today, GV can attract up to 800 workers per day coming from 17,000 families. These workers come from 5-6 different kebeles (localities) spanning from Gesha Mountain to Gori Gesha Forest.

Now that a good relationship has been established between Gesha Village Estate and their surrounding communities, three local representatives have been appointed to liaise between the farm and its neighbouring communities.
 

Social Projects

Nearby to Gesha Village are three government run schools and one clinic. These are all within a short walking distance from the estate and this is significant as in rural Ethiopia, many students must walk up to three hours in order to get to school.

Gesha Village provides school supplies to students and is currently working with the clinic in order to figure out the best way to support its operation.

One other community project that the GV team is focusing its efforts on is distributing fuel efficient and cleaner burning stoves to their neighbours. Most households currently use outdated stoves that require lots of wood/fuel and burn a lot of waste particles into the atmosphere.

For the past 3 years GV has given away 25,000 coffee seedlings per year to neighbouring farmers. The team also provide agronomy training when the farmers pick up their seedlings. GV hopes to grow coffee production in the surrounding area so that local farmers can grow benefit from the innovations employed at GV.


Agricultural Projects

On the botanical side of the spectrum, the GV team planted a research plot in early 2016 that is made up various of indigenous coffee varieties. This will allow the team, including Dr. Girma, to better study varieties. The team is keen to continue partnering public/educational partners to carry out future research that will add to the knowledge they’ve already accumulated from the genetic study they worked on in 2014 with Dr. Sarada Krishnan from Denver Botanic Gardens (mentioned earlier).

In addition to coffee, GV is currently testing apple and honey cultivation. The motivation behind these two projects is mostly one of curiosity, but who knows where things will lead?

22991764230_61bc816d76_z.jpg

Production Projects

The GV processing facility is upgrading to a custom-made Penagos pulper, which will be installed in 2017. This pulper sorts under and overripe cherries through water pressure and will help out the manual pickers, who sometimes find it difficult to pick the different plots which are planted with different varieties and hence have different morphology.

Finally, the team is researching how to build a warehouse on-site. They have found a potential supplier but given the poor road conditions between Addis and Gesha, the logistics for getting the materials to the farm first needs to be solved.


Partnership with CCS

Team CCS is proud to have the distinct honour of being the only coffee importer in Europe and the US to be working with Gesha Village Estate. While Adam & Rachel and their team do run direct sales with roasting partners, both CCS & Gesha Village saw an opportunity to work together to further distribute Gesha Village coffees to great homes around the world.

Both projects share similar values in promoting excellent coffee while building a transparent and a partnership-based buying community, so it made sense to join forces in the effort to spread the coffee and word about the phenomenal work of Gesha Village Estate.

23287632835_04e4995d4b_z.jpg

Coffee Profile: Illubabor Variety, Gesha Village Estate

23287639555_019267440e_z
23287639555_019267440e_z

Name: Gesha Village
Province: Gesha
Location: Southwest Ethiopia
Average Annual Rainfall (mm): 1150
Altitude (masl): 1900-2100m
Number of hectares: 471
Hectares cultivated: 320
Shade: Agro-forestry system with mix of indigenous shade trees
Process: Washed
Drying Method: Sun
Harvest Method: Handpicking
Main Harvest Season: November- January
Variety: Illubabor 1974
Soil: Virgin forest, brown loam soil


About

Illubabor 1974 is a research variety washed with a mechanical demucilager, soaked for 24-36 hours and then shade dried to 30 percent moisture content.It is then transferred to a raised African bed for further drying before it is bagged and stored for export.


Cupping Notes

Lot 252627(WHQ-JR-252627):Illubabor is a varietal which introduces us to the wonderful prospects Gesha Village has to offer beyond Gesha coffee varieties.Scoring a high of 88 points during US and European cuppings, this varietal is wild with jasmine, honey and passionfruit standing out.The body is sweet with finishes of melon and honeydew.Truly a gem from the Gesha Village estate.


The Backstory

The Gesha Village journey began back in 2007 when Adam Overton and Rachel Samuel were making a documentary about Ethiopian coffee for the Ethiopian government. It was during this project that they were first introduced to Dr. Girma, their guide through the Gera Coffee Forest near Jimma. Dr. Girma is a coffee researcher and is a wealth of information about coffee agronomy, and farm management. During the process of creating this documentary, Rachel was reintroduced to her birth country and Adam became fascinated by the rich coffee history of the birthplace of coffee.

By the end of this coffee expedition, the couple felt compelled to start their own coffee farm. They saw too much unexplored potential and opportunity in Ethiopia’s wild coffee forests to ignore. Even though the country’s coffee trade was established long ago, Ethiopia’s coffee sector as a whole is far behind newer coffee origins in terms of agricultural and processing innovations as well as terroir distinctions, which these days are two of the most important distinctions between specialty and commercial coffee. Adam and Rachel are fully utilizing this gap in the Ethiopian specialty market in establishing Gesha Village Estate.

From 2007-2010, the couple scoured the country in search for the perfect place to set up their project. One of the initial criteria was that the farm should be within close proximity to the capital city, Addis Ababa, due to practical transport considerations. More importantly, however, were other considerations:

  • Altitude: between 1800-2100 meters above sea level
  • A relatively large piece of land (over 100 hectares)
  • Old growth/primary forest
  • Established shade trees
  • Road access
  • Access to labour
  • No displacement of inhabitants
23287555755_9bdbd51a95_z.jpg

As they surveyed place after place, they drew further and further away from Addis. Finally, they found Gesha town, very close to Ethiopia’s border with Sudan, in the far western region of the country. During their reconnaissance, they found wild coffee growing within pristine forest. This coffee paradise, combined with meeting some inhabitants from the Meanit community who indigenous to the area, also drew the couple in. This was a place and people where something completely cutting-edge could happen. In autumn of 2011 the lease for the 471 hectares that now make up Gesha Village Estate was signed and soon after, Akalu, Gesha Village’s (GV) Farm Manager was hired. He, together with the newly established GV team, began doing a forest exploration where they picked wild seeds from the nearby Gori Gesha forest.

After a year in the nursery, these seeds were planted on 30 hectares and at the same time, the team began acquainting themselves with the Meanit neighbours that lived around them. This initial 30 hectares made up GV’s first “test plot” – the team wanted to ensure the cup quality was good before more coffee was planted. The first 1kg sample was sent to Adam and Rachel’s friend Willem Boot in the spring of 2012 even before they themselves had a chance to cup. Willem in turn organized a Cupping Caravan in Ethiopia where cuppers were blown away by the coffee. At this point, the GV team knew that they were onto something special.

23204926041_ca4a667dc2_z-1.jpg

Before getting too ahead of themselves, the team decided to visit their neighbours’ coffee farms in order to both study the morphology of more established trees, which also came from forest seeds, and also to cup their neighbours’ coffees to further understand what they were working with at GV. As exciting as cultivating forest coffee was, the team understood that planting one of any variety was risky and on the advice of Akalu and Dr. Girma, decided to plant a good portion of GV with tried and tested Ethiopian heirloom varieties released from the Jimma Argicultural Research Center (JARC). These released varieties come from various seed collection expeditions that JARC has conducted.

Wild varieties collected during expeditions are studied and researchers are looking for the following characteristics in determining which are “superior plants”: a) showing disease resistance; b) excellent cup quality; and c) good yield. Plants showing these characteristics are chosen for release and GV chose to plant a variety that originated in the highland coffee forests of Illubabor. This one showed both disease resistance and excellent cup quality.

We can say that over the course of cupping the different varieties produced on GV, these research varieties have some of the most exciting cup profiles that Gesha Village have produced. With varieties playing such an important role in quality and cup profile, it makes perfect sense that the GV team found research partners to carry out a methodical genetic study on the Gesha forest varieties. Part of that study concerns the possible connection between Panamanian geisha and coffee from the Gori Gesha Forest. You can access the study’s findings here.


The Community

Before the project started in earnest, the GV team gathered the elders and wise men from the local Meanit community in order to explain the project as well as hear out the community’s thoughts and concerns about it. Though successful as an introduction, the team understood from the beginning that a real partnership would take time and effort and one of the early challenges GV faced was finding labourers. There was a stigma against working for someone else as most people already had their own garden farms.

23287559545_efff52ce74_z.jpg

Over time, women began working with the farm and since they earned their own income for the first time, this early labour force attracted more and more people, eventually both women and men. Today, GV can attract up to 800 workers per day coming from 17,000 families. These workers come from 5-6 different kebeles (localities) spanning from Gesha Mountain to Gori Gesha Forest.

Now that a good relationship has been established between Gesha Village Estate and their surrounding communities, three local representatives have been appointed to liaise between the farm and its neighbouring communities.


Social Projects

Nearby to Gesha Village are three government run schools and one clinic. These are all within a short walking distance from the estate and this is significant as in rural Ethiopia, many students must walk up to three hours in order to get to school.

Gesha Village provides school supplies to students and is currently working with the clinic in order to figure out the best way to support its operation.

One other community project that the GV team is focusing its efforts on is distributing fuel efficient and cleaner burning stoves to their neighbours. Most households currently use outdated stoves that require lots of wood/fuel and burn a lot of waste particles into the atmosphere.

For the past 3 years GV has given away 25,000 coffee seedlings per year to neighbouring farmers. The team also provide agronomy training when the farmers pick up their seedlings. GV hopes to grow coffee production in the surrounding area so that local farmers can grow benefit from the innovations employed at GV.


Agricultural Projects

On the botanical side of the spectrum, the GV team planted a research plot in early 2016 that is made up various of indigenous coffee varieties. This will allow the team, including Dr. Girma, to better study varieties. The team is keen to continue partnering public/educational partners to carry out future research that will add to the knowledge they’ve already accumulated from the genetic study they worked on in 2014 with Dr. Sarada Krishnan from Denver Botanic Gardens (mentioned earlier).

In addition to coffee, GV is currently testing apple and honey cultivation. The motivation behind these two projects is mostly one of curiosity, but who knows where things will lead?

22991764230_61bc816d76_z.jpg

Production Projects

The GV processing facility is upgrading to a custom-made Penagos pulper, which will be installed in 2017. This pulper sorts under and overripe cherries through water pressure and will help out the manual pickers, who sometimes find it difficult to pick the different plots which are planted with different varieties and hence have different morphology.

Finally, the team is researching how to build a warehouse on-site. They have found a potential supplier but given the poor road conditions between Addis and Gesha, the logistics for getting the materials to the farm first needs to be solved.


Partnership with CCS

Team CCS is proud to have the distinct honour of being the only coffee importer in Europe and the US to be working with Gesha Village Estate. While Adam & Rachel and their team do run direct sales with roasting partners, both CCS & Gesha Village saw an opportunity to work together to further distribute Gesha Village coffees to great homes around the world.

Both projects share similar values in promoting excellent coffee while building a transparent and a partnership-based buying community, so it made sense to join forces in the effort to spread the coffee and word about the phenomenal work of Gesha Village Estate.

23287632835_04e4995d4b_z.jpg

Coffee & Genetic Diversity

23179165692_1153bd506c_z.jpg

'Science' is often conflated with 'truth' and this assumption can have far-reaching impacts, both positive and negative, on an industry that is as reliant on evidence-based conclusions as specialty coffee is.

Bruno Latour, a philosopher and sociologist of science, wrote a clear and in-depth analysis back in 1987 about the ways in which scientific communities are inseparable from the traditions, culture and societal perspectives that surround them. This is something that is not often acknowledged within the course of scientific debates and it came to mind when I recently came across diverging sets of research on genetic variability: a topic that is of vital importance to the future of coffee.

Since 2013, World Coffee Research has been undertaking studies on genetic variability and one of their preliminary findings was that there is almost no genetic diversity amongst coffee plants, whether wild or cultivated. Thisconclusion was based on 'an incredibly diverse range' of around 1000 plant samples. It is important to note that these samples were taken from the CATIE coffee germplasm collection, and not wild Ethiopian coffee forests.

If these findings hold true, the consequences could be dire for coffee which is increasingly under threat from climate change and its associated diseases, pests, rain and temperature fluctuations, etc. Coffee requires, as other viable crops do, a broad range of genes from which to select and plant future coffee.

But the findings from World Coffee Research are not corroborated by other researchers who are investigating this same topic. For example, Ethiopian and German researchers from Addis Ababa University and Freie Universität Berlin jointly published an article in 2014 that used inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR) fingerprinting analysis and found high genetic variability in the forest populations it studied.

One of the realities about conducting any kind of research is that it is almost always conducted within a specific sphere of influence, whether a university, a small international community of acquainted researchers, or a company that has its own R&D department. I'm glad that World Coffee Research exists - it is made up of many great coffee organizations and companies that are specifically working for the specialty coffee community. This industry needs to have bodies such as WCR in order for all of us to thrive and innovate.

What my very short and select literature review highlights is the need for more and closer cooperation between specialty coffee and the wider scientific community. Why shouldn't specialty coffee benefit from the fact that a lot of resources and great minds outside 'our sphere' are addressing some of our biggest questions and challenges?

- Melanie

CCS' Love Affair with Ethiopia

gatekeepers-to-heleannas-farm-in-limu-five-weeks-have-quickly-gone-by-and-only-one-more-week-to-go-undoubtedly-ill-come-away-with-much-more-understanding-than-i-came-with-but-this-place.jpg

While it's necessary and perfectly normal for us to visit our partners at origin once or twice a season, we're in Ethiopia for the third time this season. This time I'm spending six weeks with our main exporter, Heleanna Georgalis of Moplaco Trading Co. The purpose of this stay is to both help Moplaco complete some of its ongoing projects (e.g. helping to complete an informative and user-friendly website about its many functions and activities) and also for CCS to gain better insight into this amazing and incredibly complex coffee origin.

At this very moment, CCS' first USA-bound container of Moplaco coffees (see above photos) is passing inspection at CLU (Coffee Liquoring Unit) which is overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture. Every single bag is sampled from three places and then these samples are mixed and cupped before the shipment can be cleared for export. This inspection process is just one in many that coffee undergoes throughout the season before it can be shipped to our warehouse and then to you.

One of the things that is always on my mind when addressing the complexities of any origin (because they all are in some way or another), is trying to work out what people really mean when they say things and whether I'm understanding them from their point-of-view. This topic of intercultural complexity is something that coffee buyers have to consider but few have written about. Maybe it's because for some this process is reflexive. At CCS, however, intercultural communication is something we are exploring more and choosing to discuss because it is such a fundamental aspect of doing specialty coffee, which hinges on strong and trustworthy relationships between all the people throughout the supply chain.

We've found that having closer cultural similarities with our Latin American partners and their partnering government institutions has meant there is a base level of understanding about how to conduct business. This means that on average, receiving the coffees we choose from these origins are fairly straightforward. This is not generally the case with our East African suppliers and in particular, the frequently changing legislation they have to go through in order to export our coffees.

So, while it is unlikely that I will learn all the relevant ins and outs of Ethiopian business culture and communication during this prolonged stay, the goal is for us to learn and convey the current state of specialty coffee in Ethiopia and hopefully answer some questions you have about this fascinating origin.

- Melanie

Tickets now in stock for Le Carnaval du Café 4-6 November 2014

kuvankaappaus-2014-9-16-kello-10-59-22.png

We are happy to tell you the tickets for Le Carnaval du Café 2014 are now in stock, friends! You can buy your ticket from our brand new website lecarnavalducafe.com where you can find all the information of the event. Read more what the tickets will include. The price for a LCDC 2014 ticket is now set to 600 USD. A ticket includes the entire program during 4-6 November 2014 in Paris:

  • Presentations
  • Cuppings
  • Meet-and-Greet workshop
  • lunch in 5th and 6th November
  • snacks during the days
  • Material prior to and during the event
  • Your own LCDC cupping spoon
  • LCDC closing dinner on 6th hosted by our friends 32 Cup

The tickets can be bought via PayPal so if you already have an account for PayPal, buying a ticket is easy and quick. If you have to create an PayPal account, it is also really simple and you can find directions on our website how to do it.

Event program

 

Meet-and-Greet - Late Afternoon, Tuesday, November 4 LCDC starts with a meet-and-greet amongst participants. We are meeting later in the afternoon so that participants flying into Paris have a chance to settle in during the morning. We will all gather for a workshop in a Parisian coffee facility (location TBA). 

Day 1: East Africa Day, 9am-5pm Wednesday, November 5

The day will is all lectures and cuppings about our East African focus countries, Burundi and Ethiopia. Confirmed speakers are Paul Songer, Heleanna Georgalis and Lauren Rosenberg with Oliver Strand acting as discussion moderator.

Day 2: Latin America Day, 9am-5pm Thursday, November 6

The second full day of the event will focus on lectures and cuppings of our Latin American focus countries, Honduras and TBA. In the evening, LCDC’s closing dinner will be hosted by our friends, 32Cup, venue TBA.

See you all in Paris! Le Carnaval du Café 2014 will be held in beautiful and historic La Bellevilloise.

Le Carnaval du Café will land in La Bellevilloise: 4-6 November 2014

belle1.jpg

Belle1

Le Carnaval du Café is a celebration of coffee in a comprehensive sense: it’s a time for illuminating the latest in coffee research, a space where merited farmers and exporters get to share their valuable knowledge and expertise, it’s a collegial gathering of researchers, roasters, farmers and exporters—passionate coffee craftspeople. In Paris, no less! We are pleased to announce we have now landed on the venue and dates for this year’s LCDC: La Bellevilloise, a cultural and historic venue in Paris will be Carnaval’s home this year from Tuesday, November 4th to Thursday, November 6th, 2014.

Schedule

Late Afternoon Tuesday, November 4

LCDC starts with a meet-and-greet amongst participants. We’re setting the time later in the day so that participants flying into Paris that morning can have a bit of time to settle into their accommodation and make their way to this first gathering.

9am-5pm Wednesday, November 5 and Thursday, November 6

These are the two main days. All the lectures/presentations and cuppings will take place at La Bellevilloise from 9 AM to approximately 4-5 PM.

Evening, Thursday, November 6

LCDC’s closing dinner will be hosted by our friends, 32 Cup. Venue TBA.

While the event ends on Thursday, hopefully some of you will stay in Paris for the weekend to enjoy all the city has to offer in terms of cultural events, food and coffee culture. We’ve got a lot of recommendations for you; a list carefully curated by our Parisian coffee friends who are in the know. On the other hand, the event ends early enough for you to be home for the weekend. Nice, right?

Belle3

Historic venue

La Bellevilloise is beautiful historic venue with many big spaces and we have rented their Le Forum for our event. Le Forum is bright hall where we are going to have a stage for the speakers to put them on a spotlight what they truly deserve. The space additionally contains two other rooms where we are going to set our cupping tables and an area for relaxation between the presentations.

Read of the interesting history of La Bellevilloise:

” Founded in 1877 near Père Lachaise cemetery, right after the Commune, La Bellevilloise is the first Parisian cooperative built to offer to the middle class an access to political education and culture. A place of resistance where the first commercial exchanges from producer to consumer, early equitable trade and shows took place, La Bellevilloise had a main role in the economical and cultural life of the eastern Paris from 1910 to 1949. Since 2005, Renaud Barillet, Fabrice Martinez and Philippe Jupin, three agitators from the living arts production, media and production industry reopened this historical building with a strong project: give a second life to the spirit of La Bellevilloise by creating a huge independent place with artistic activities and happenings for the public, companies and media which is unique in Paris.”

More info coming this week!

Read more at Le Carnaval du Café 2014 website: http://lecarnavalducafe.com/

 

We have a limited amount of tickets in our pockets so be quick! Reserve your spot here by email to hanna@collaborativecoffeesource.com.

 

Belle2