So here is the audioboo of day two of my trip, or is it day 1 ? I say day 2 on the audioboo but really the day before was just arriving. Any way enjoy
For those who don’t like my awful voice I typed it too
Day one begins with the early start of 4:30am, but its fine as I’m meeting up with my friends (there is three of us in total) in the hotel lobby then a short 1 hour flight to Dire Dawa. This all goes scarily well and we are met at the airport by Admasu and he will be our host for our time in Harar, a region that I am most excited about because of its huge amount of funky amazing naturals, but also its one of the two regions that inspired me when I got into coffee in Ethiopia.
Apparently this is an international airport, but I am not so sure, it looks more like a bus station.
First stop is our beautiful hotel while we stop here, and feel super appropriate, in the vision of an African Village. We drop our bags and are taken to the office of Moplaco who we have bought some coffee from in recent times. We tour the offices and factory and are treated to a cupping of three coffees from Harar that are representative. I learn that each region will have a sub region when placed at the ECX (ethiopian coffee exchange more on this to come later) something I was not aware of. They are given letters at the auction
(A)Bold Grain which is from east
(B)Longberry which is from the west
(C)Arusi which is from the south west
The cupping gives us a good representation of the regions and is a useful exercise in keying our tastes into the region.
Harar only does naturally processed coffee, no washed at all. I know from experience these can be some of the coffees that excite you my customers the most so its great to learn more about it all.
We were then taken away on a huge car journey to the aera known as Harar. This starts off on lovely asphalt, but soon turns into dust roads, Its a mammoth journey (thankfully not driven by me but by our driver Solomon) but when we arrive we arrive at a chaps house called Abudula Mome’s
Were told about the four kinds of farmers in Harar, you have your
1. Garden grower (like Abdul) that grows a variety of crops in a small holding, not olny coffee but other crops maybe to eat and sell.
2. Plantation grower, who only grows coffee and is normally on a large scaled 9not so common in ethiopia)
3. Forest grower where the coffee is grown in the forst areas. We have bought some of these coffees in the past like wild bonga forest.
4. Semi forest which I never really got to find out why this was a term used and its full meaning but I’ll let you fill in the blanks
Abdulas garden farm is very cool, he is a great host and spend time answering all of our stupid questions. He walks us around the farm with around 20 children following us everywhere we go. I think three pale and pasty folks are not the normal scene in Ethiopia.
We get to also see the less fun side of Ethiopia here. a local “reprentative” approaches Admasu and says that we shouldnt really be here, and that he wanted money to fix this. It was all arranged with Abdula, and he was very happy for us to be there, but this is the slightly more corrupt side of ethiopia. The representative is sent with a flea in his ear and on his way.
We then take a small drive to the town of Harar (the region named after this town) and sit and enjoy the relaxing conversation with Admasu. He goes into the tiny details of the Ethiopian coffee exchange. I have decided that this will be a blog post on its own, as its super complicated, and I am learning more with each day, and what I tel you today is probably going to be re learned in a different way tomorrow. I am going to the exchange on Friday and think this will be super interesting.