ETHIOPIA, SIDAMA | 2231 MASL | 74/158, 74/112 | NATURAl
A proud partnership between Basha Bekele, Catalyst Trade, and Coffeebar.
Ethiopia coffee is nothing new for our Vertical Reserve program, but the Basha Bekele is a little different. The standard model in Ethiopia is for coffee to be traceable to a washing station (like the Bombe mill where we source our Naia Bombe coffees from), but rarely beyond that. The reasons for this were noble – Ethiopian officials wanted to ensure farmers were fairly compensated for their work and paid on time – but an unfortunate side effect was the homogenization of coffee production. Coffee was sold by grade and region only, with no opportunity to generate additional premiums through high-quality micro lots.
It’s only in the last two years that the market has been opened up, allowing producers to negotiate directly with buyers, albeit with caveats. This is why it is still rare to see the name of a producer on a bag of coffee from Ethiopia (unlike Central and South America, where micro lots like the Manuel Gomez and Juan Rivera are common not just for us but for all roasters).
Enter Basha Bakele. Through the work of Catalyst Trade and their partners on the ground in Ethiopia, Basha is one of the first producers to be able to market and sell his coffee directly as a micro lot. This means that his investments in quality and care can now reward him with direct, tangible benefits.