Coordinating the first specialty coffee auction for the Ethiopian private sector and the inaugural Ethiopian barista championship have been the most intensive projects of my life. Contributors from all over the world have been necessary to make these events a success, and I've taken the role as pivot point for all of them in a whirlwind 60 days of activity. In this time, I've discovered the untapped passion for Ethiopian coffee and its improvement on the part of baristas, farmers, exporters, and the local population (which drinks half of the country's estimated 10 million bags of production). The special aroma of Hache and Adado have opened eyes wider than those of consumers smelling these coffees in the U.S. for the first time before enjoying a pour from the Clover or Canadian coffee lovers doing the same with our friends at Elysian Coffee in Vancouver (or other the many great Novo purveyors I don't mention in this post).
The pursuit of quality here in Ethiopia continues to be the most exciting the world has to offer, but the workload is immense. Months on the ground have barely served to scratch the surface but months ahead will see a deeper digging. Next year's harvest will see the influence of this hard work (as well as a bit to taste this year), even if its only in the form of a realtively tiny quantity of coffee's finest wine vintage equivalents. The years will see these coffees come to be, but each special seed requires its weight in sweat to produce, as well as coordinated relationships that span the globe.
Here's to Ethiopia and its great contribution to the world!