There is excitement surrounding changes to Ethiopian coffee trading at the moment. Being the birthplace of coffee, there is no denying the quality found in this country. Soil and climate conditions are ideal, and coffee is grown at some seriously high altitudes. However, smallholders were previously unable to sell their coffee direct to roasters. These trading limitations often meant that farmers were unable to receive the maximum return on their crop, selling to middlemen or mills in cherry form.
From a roaster’s perspective, we are always on the hunt for delicious and traceable coffee. By relying on the Ethiopian Coffee Exchange (ECX), traceability is limited to the region and quality grade of coffee. This is fine for our bigger coffee purchases, in fact, it is helpful to maintain quality control when Ethiopian coffee plays an important role in many of our blends. However, it makes it hard to find truly unique coffees that showcase the best of coffee in Ethiopia.
Enter the Lalisaa Project! Lalisaa is a term used to describe something that is flourishing and growing. The aim is to connect farmers more directly with roasters. This increased traceability allows farmers to develop crop quality, as they can receive feedback about their coffee. Roasters can also know exactly where their coffee is from – making it easier to purchase coffee again when they find something truly special.
With Ethiopia’s diverse climatic regions and varieties, farmers with unique coffee would have their cherries mixed in with other farmers of the region. These new trading practices will allow previously homogenised farms to come into the spotlight. Producer Ayele Fulasa is excited about the change. “You will love my coffee if you try it. I put a lot of effort into making it and I want you to enjoy it!”
Want to try this coffee? You can grab some online in the month of December! Check it out here.