This is Kenya and Ethiopia

ORIGIN - KENYA - ETHIOPIA

Some reflections written in a diary, on NOMAD COFFEE going to origin, trying to learn more about how to buy green coffee in a more responsible way.


Day 1 and 2


A couple of planes and millions of miles through the air, thirty-five hours without sleep, 35 + 35 + 52 + 9 different coffees tasted (do the math) at Kenyacof in Nairobi, Kenya, with Sofie and the rest of the Sucafina Green Europe and Kenya team, Francisco Tomás González Márquez, and other great European roasters like Gringo from Sweden and Father Carpenter from Germany, and some magnificent Kenyan gems found for our coffee menu at Nomad Coffee.


Tasting very good Kenyan coffees at Kenyacof-Sucafina headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya.


Day 3


Richard from Kenyacof gave us a tour of three coffee farms in the rural areas of Kiringaya County in his pickup truck.


 


First we visited Kabumbu Coffee State where the lovely family that lives and works there treated us candidly, showed us around their farm where we could see their coffee, tea, macadamia nut and avocado trees. It was a very comforting experience.


 


We then visited Peter, the Head of the Nyanjuki coffee farms, and he talked with us about the problems and numerous political changes that occurred this year and the way Kenyan farmers were selling coffee to exporters and importers. We were truly humbled by his hard working mentality and also encouraged to be better, at least more aware and responsible, agents in the coffee industry. He showed us some of his coffee trees and oh my goodness! They were really strong and beautiful.


Kenyan coffee trees Nyanjuki.

We really can't wait to try the new batches of Nyanjuki this coming summer at Cal Nomad.


 


Finally we visited the famous Karimikui farm, where we were also able to mentally link this juicy fruity drink that we are used to drinking in Europe with the endless dedication that all African farmers had to face on a daily basis.


Coffee drying beds at Karimikui Coffee Factory.

In the evening there was Nyama Choma and a couple of sips of the local Tusker beer, and that was Kenya in a nutshell. In the middle of the night we were already flying to Addis Ababa where multiple tasting sessions awaited us. We were perhaps sad to leave such a beautiful land, but also happy to leave with almost 2,000 kg of green coffee in our imaginary luggage and a few more kg of very exciting lots waiting to be confirmed as well.


Day 4


It is already Thursday morning. We arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the cradle of coffee. Sofie, our excellent guide from Sucafina Europe, continued to lead us through this continent of so many unknowns for us. We had breakfast at Dukamo Coffee, where we tasted a Shantawene Gatta. Daye Bensa Coffee. Notes of caramel, mango, blueberry, strawberry. Producer: Daye Bensa Coffee. Origin: Bensa, Sidama, Ethiopia. A very big coffee. Very impressive.


Dukamo Coffee in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

We then went to the offices of Snap, one of the many exporters, where we were to taste different lots of Ethiopian coffee.


Head of coffee Fran cupping coffees at Ethiopian exporter, Snap.

Later we visited Lulo Coffee for another cupping and among the coffees we tasted there we found our beloved Bombe Natural, this time from a single farmer in the region.


Cupping coffees at Lulo Coffee, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 

And after the tasting we recharged our energy levels with some local Ethiopian food (injera and pieces of lamb) while Lulo's manager explained more details about how they are trying to improve the quality of life of the small coffee farmers they work with.


In the afternoon we went to TESTI SPECIALTY COFFFEE to taste some amazing coffees, some of which we are bringing with us to Barcelona in our luggage, imaginary too. Get ready for these names: Ayla Sidama Bombe Washed, Nanseboo Mundayo Washed and a Sidama Bensa Premium Keramo Natural that is going to change your world very, very soon.


Exporter, importer and roaster, enjoying the tasting at Testi Coffee

Rest at night was pretty much mandatory, and that's what we did.


Day 5


Last day of homework coffee tasting. We visited the Alo Coffee office and tasted some of the best coffees of the week. Too bad we couldn't try them all.

 

Our Coffee Manager Fran with the exporter at Alo Coffee.

We then spent the rest of the day at Sucafina Ethiopia's headquarters, where we managed to find a delicious last-best-only coffee from a single estate called Adebe Hiwiso that we loved for its balanced acidity and lovely notes of berries.


 


The day ended by tasting some sort of local craft beer called Tela with the wonderful team from Sucafina Ethiopia, but maybe we'll leave that part for another story.


Day 6 and 7


It is officially our last day in East Africa, and we plan to end the trip with a visit to the famous Merkato, the largest open market on the entire continent. A bit overwhelming. And definitely one of the most real experiences of our lives.


View from Merkato, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

 

And that was it. A sum of unforgettable memories and eye-opening experiences that will definitely make us more aware of our impact as specialty coffee roasters in Europe.


It is absurd how doing the right thing and the best you can can really affect the lives of thousands of farmers in the coffee industry.


As buyers of green coffee, let's buy better.


As coffee roasters, let us roast better.


As baristas in coffee shops, let's prepare better.


As coffee consumers, let us buy better roasted coffee.


Greetings from this down-to-earth coffee lover (this is getting cheesy, Rebeca Silva and Laura Coe) with a bit of a fever before flying another million miles through the air and getting home.

 

By Marco Delgado