What makes coffee delicious
This time, I would like to write a little more about my visit to a coffee-producing country that I don't usually tell you.
The coffee producing countries we trade with are mainly Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Brazil, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda.
Each country has its own language, culture, security, etc., and every time I feel a different sense of tension than when I go on vacation.
I wrote this article for those who have registered for the newsletter to read it first.
I am sure that many of you have already tried our coffee and read our back issues.
There will be a fair amount of technical terminology, but I hope that you will be able to understand the terminology as it will be familiar to all newsletter subscribers.
At Fuglen Coffee Roasters, we purchase raw coffee beans, roast them in our roaster (roasting factory), and deliver them to you.
Raw coffee beans are always stored in the roaster's warehouse, but what kind of supply chain does the green coffee go through before it is delivered?
Many people are involved in it, and we are supported by the accumulation of their serious work.
I go to Ethiopia almost every year.
We usually stay for about a week during the peak harvest season in November or December.
Ethiopian coffee is mainly produced by small producers who bring the coffee berries piece by piece to the nearest washing station.
Therefore, most coffee names use the name of the washing station.
The coffee beans we purchase are not only judged for their flavor and quality, but also have a high level of compliance, such as consideration for the natural environment and workers involved in production, and whether wages are paid without delay. Based on judging criteria.
Also, for example, children appear to be helping out during the day, but are actually forced to work without pay, which may not actually be illegal, but be careful not to lend a hand to things that are not good for society. is.
It's hard to hear such information from dealers, so you have to actually go to the production area and see it with your own eyes.
"Beginning of Journey"
First, we landed at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.
Arrive as early as possible and get plenty of rest to prepare for the grueling journey that begins the next day.
On the day of departure, a long drive begins with a local agent and car to head to the destination.
From Addis Ababa to the southern city of Dilla, it takes 6 hours if the weather is nice and smooth.
I rent the best possible car (Toyota, Rankle, etc.).
Dilla has safe and comfortable accommodation, where you can stay for a few nights and visit a different area every day as time permits.
In addition to the Washing station where the coffee we purchase is produced, we also actively visit new stations and areas if there are good rumors, and always try to collect a lot of information.
"Visiting Washing Station"
Most of the people who work there do not speak English, so we communicate through an interpreter who accompanies the agent.
Every station has a manager (mostly men) who is like a factory manager.
This year's operation status and climatic conditions, when it was harvested on the African bed now, and what day it was in the drying process. I will check it carefully.
In addition, we use our five senses to check whether each process is being carried out properly by smelling and actually touching the parchment during the fermentation process.
Whether the coffee tastes good or not is reflected in the carefulness of the station's work.
In recent years, climate change has become more severe in Ethiopia, and cases of unexpected rainfall in particular are increasing.
After removing the mucilage attached to the parchment during the fermentation process and washing it, it is dried in the sun on an African bed until the moisture content is 12% or less.
Of course, if it rains, it will be a problem.
Drying is usually completed in about two weeks, but intermittent rain can disrupt this process and, in the worst case, reduce the quality.
Also, if the drying process is prolonged, there will be no place to dry the next parchment, so the weather is a constant battle.
It is our duty to always deliver delicious coffee to everyone, but no matter how hard the producers try, they cannot beat the weather.
The conditions for making delicious coffee are not necessarily met every time.
Still, Ethiopia is the country of origin of coffee, so it is blessed with very hardy varieties and produces wonderful coffee that is floral, powerful and at the same time has a gentle sweetness.
It's been a long time, but thank you for reading this far.
After a short break, the next part is the purchasing version.
We will introduce how to actually decide on coffee and how to purchase it.
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