The story behind the coffee
Ethiopia is the origin of all coffee, and as such grows wild in the coffee growing regions there. Unlike in other coffee growing countries, which have one, or very few, coffee varieties on a farm, in Ethiopia it is far more varied. For this reason, most coffee labels list “heirloom” for their variety.
Sidamo is south of Addis Ababa and shares a border with Guji. Until very recently Sidamo was a sub-region of Guji but was formed into its own administrative state in 2020. Sidamo is the largest coffee growing region in Ethiopia and is well-known throughout the world for the quality of their coffee.
Our Ethiopian exporting partner, Almaz Seyoum Beyene, was founded in 2010 by Getachew Zekele to purchase high quality coffee from the ECX for export. They have since expanded to build their own farm, Dimtu Plantation, in neighboring Guji and work with 370 outfarmers in the Sidamo and Yirgacheffe regions, processing them at one of the three wet mills ASB owns in Hamebela, which is a town just across the border between Sidamo and Guji. Almaz means “diamond” in the Ethiopian Amheric language, and is also the name of Getachew’s wife, whom the company was named after.
ASB was founded to help improve the quality of Ethiopian coffee and one of their founding values is to be a resource to support the smallholder farmers in the area with technical expertise, seedlings, quality and production improvement training, and marketing to bring higher prices. Almaz teaches their outfarmers to pick only ripe cherries and pays a higher price for them.
Mercon Specialty purchased several washed coffees from Sidamo this year. At the Hamebela wet mills, the coffees are de-pulped, floated in water to remove defects, and then sit submerged in fermentation tanks for 72 hours before being removed to raised beds to be dried in the sun for 10-15 days.Request a Sample