The return of the Africans kicks off with a bang! First up is a beautiful, elegant cup from the Agaro woreda (district) in Jimma, Ethiopia. Duromina, which means “to improve their lives” in the Afan Oromo language, is a coffee cooperative that was started by 113 farmers in 2010. Prior to the establishment of this cooperative, coffee grown here had suffered from inferior quality due to poor management, little focus on quality control and lack of education. This resulted in low prices for the coffee. With technical support, business advice and access to finance through TechnoServe’s Coffee Initiative, the members acquired and installed a wet mill and began processing fully washed coffee for the first time. In 2012, four major international roasters purchased 71 metric tons of green coffee through direct trade relationships with Duromina, paying an average of US$3.68 per pound, a 65 percent premium over the international commodity price. Duromina was able to repay its entire investment loan in just one year, instead of the planned four years. Without resting on their laurels, Duromina re-invested their earnings into a second wet mill. That way they can access cherries from more farmers in their local surroundings.
When we cupped this coffee earlier this year, we had absolutely no idea of this story behind the coffee. For coffees that we buy through an importer/exporter, our focus is based on the cup profile which fits our buying criteria. As it turned out, we were really glad that we chose a coffee that has such an interesting background and another shiny example of how specialty coffees can change the livelihood of hundreds, if not more!
Ever since its incorporation in 2010, Duromina has been winning awards in regional cupping competitions and the farmers are reaping the fruits of the strong management of the cooperative. Financially, they have been very successful and the communities are putting in the premium payments they receive from their quality production into good use - better infrastructure, equipment and education. For more information of the Technoserve’s Coffee Initiative, you can read here.
This year has been really tough for us in securing African coffees. Ethiopian harvests came in later and and prices have gone up across the board. Our sourcing partner, Nordic Approach, wrote a blog post to explain the reasons driving up the prices of Ethiopian coffees. While some of the samples we had cupped were not as impressive as last year, a few of them still stood out. We shortlisted 3 Ethiopians this year that we felt are the best of the lots, Duromina being one of them.
- Cooperative: Duromina
- Producers: About 126 smallholders
- Municipality: Agaro - Goma Woreda
- Varietal: Mainly improved native varietal called 1274 and mix of Ethiopian Heirloom
- Altitude: 1950m asl
- Processing: De-pulped using Penagos eco-pulper, soaked in clean water overnight. Skin-dried and sorted under shade for about 6 hours after soaking. Dried on African raised beds for 10 days. Coffees are covered in plastic or shade nets during midday and at night.
This coffee has layers of flavours that pretty much showcases the beauty of Ethiopian coffee. Citrus, floral and sweet aromas, coupled with juiciness of berries and stonefruits. Full of honey-like sweetness and ends off with a caramelly finish. Silky texture and balanced. Truly beautiful. Available on our retail rack or webshop.