Tesfaye Bekele always impresses us! The coffee we've purchased this year is sweet and floral with flavours of lemonade, juicy peach, and a hint of green tea. We've been collaborating with this incredibly driven producer for over 10 years and we first met in 2012 during a trip to Ethiopia. You might recognise the name Ethiopia Welena? That's what we used to call the coffee from Tesfaye, but from now on, this coffee is part of the Farmers series and shares its name with the producer: Tesfaye Bekele!
Tesfaye is one of the coffee pioneers in Guji. The region was long overshadowed by the more famous Sidamo and Yirgacheffe, and coffee production was scarce. The location of Tesfaye's farm, Suke Quto, is characterised by high mountains, plateaus, valleys, and very fertile volcanic soil. Tesfaye uses entirely organic methods, and the trees and bushes surrounding the coffee are used as compost material to further enrich the soil. Most of the coffee trees were planted around 2004, and in addition to his own 221 hectares of coffee trees, Tesfaye also buys cherries from 171 nearby family farms.
Tesfaye processes all the coffee at his washing station. Here, the cherries are rinsed in long channels and a secondary sorting is made so that only the prefectly ripe are used. These are then pulped in a so-called Agared machine. The machine retains all the mucilage, the sugary layer surrounding the coffee bean under the fruit, enabling the coffee to later ferment in water pools. Fermentation takes 35 to 48 hours, depending on the weather - the warmer the weather, the faster the fermentation. Finally, the beans are placed in a final water tank where the remaining mucilage is rinsed away, giving the coffee an even cleaner and crisper taste. This process of harvesting and processing employs no fewer than 200 people at Suke Quto every year.
When we cupped this coffee, we found much of the freshness that is often found in washed Ethiopian coffees. In the cup, we find many floral notes, sweetness reminiscent of peaches, and a freshness of lemonade and green tea. We roast it with a short and light profile to maintain acidity and elegance and highlight the intense sweetness of peaches.
Producer: Tesfaye Bekele
Farm: Suke Quto
Variety: Welicho, Kurume
Flavours: Floral, lemonade, peach, green tea
Tesfaye Bekele, agronomist, economist, and coffee specialist, is one of the pioneers of coffee in Guji. After severe forest fires in the late '90s, Tesfaye, who was then working in environmental protection for the Ethiopian government, was tasked with taking care of the affected areas. He started a plant nursery and began growing coffee trees, but the interest among farmers in the area was weak. This eventually led him to resign from his office job and become a full-time coffee farmer. He then founded his farm, Suke Quto. When farmers in the area saw how his land flourished and his first harvest was a success, many approached him to purchase coffee plants from his nursery to grow coffee themselves. Many of these farmers now deliver their coffee cherries to his washing station! Tesfaye focuses on environmentally friendly coffee and the economic growth of the community. In other words, people should be able to sustain their livelihood through their sustainable coffee production.
Content: 100% organic specialty grade coffee
Exceptional coffee starts at the origin. The Farmers series is a tribute to the skilled and dedicated producers which we have a close relationship with. For this series, we purchase limited quantities of specific lots that really stand out when we taste them. It could be the variety or a specific part of the farm that truly brings out the best in the coffee. The flavours of these coffees are often sweet and floral, with hints of fruit or berries, broadening the horizons on what coffee can taste like. It is with a lot of pride we highlight our producers and their incredible craftsmanship through the coffees in the Farmers series.
We have four different coffee series, from House where the flavours are more familiar, to Prime which offers the absolute top tier of specialty coffee quality.
The House series is the foundation we stand upon, featuring specialty coffees from some of the 15 producers we work with closely, all among the best in the world. Each coffee offers a unique blend and flavour profile, and with such variety in the series, we dare say there’s a taste for (almost) everyone. To follow the harvest seasons, we rotate the origin and recipe throughout the year. This ensures the coffee is always fresh, the flavours consistent, and the cup truly delightful! In this series, you’ll find various espresso and filter coffees, both as whole beans and ground.
The Flavours series is where we truly elevate the natural flavours of each coffee. Most of the coffees are single origin, but as the contents of the product change with harvest seasons, occasionally a blend might better suit the flavour profile. Flavours is perfect for those seeking an exceptional cup where the coffee’s unique taste and character truly gets to shine!
The Farmers series is a tribute to the skilled and dedicated producers which we have a close relationship with. For this series, we purchase limited quantities of specific lots that really stand out when we taste them. It could be the variety or a specific part of the farm that truly brings out the best in the coffee. The flavours of these coffees are often sweet and floral, with hints of fruit or berries, broadening the horizons on what coffee can taste like. It is with a lot of pride we highlight our producers and their incredible craftsmanship.
The Prime series is the top tier of specialty coffee. These coffees are of unmatched quality and flavour and drinking them is an experience itself. Sourced only 3-4 times a year, our Prime coffees are extremely limited and highly coveted, with only around 200 bags available of each. These coffees are often of exclusive and rare varieties and produced using modern and innovative methods. For those seeking the ultimate coffee experience, our Prime series is sure to satisfy even the most refined palates.
We specialize in specialty coffee, which means that all the coffee we purchase scores at least 80 points on a 100-point scale – a grading system established by the international coffee organization SCA.
We hold high standards for the producers we work with, both in terms of sustainability and quality. Both aspects demand more and come at a cost, which we gladly pay. The right price is worth every cent!
10 years or more – that's how long we have been working with several of our producers. Simply because they are the best, and we know and trust each other. When we begin new collaborations, which also happens from time to time, we do so with the intention of celebrating 10 years and beyond with them as well. Our close and longstanding relationships are built on a shared philosophy and a desire to improve the conditions for coffee farmers worldwide. Through sustainability and quality!