buying green coffee beans
In the first part , I wrote about a field visit to check the cultivation and harvest conditions in the producing country.
In the second part of this article, I would like to tell you about the site where the coffee is actually purchased.
"How to buy"
There are three main ways to actually decide which coffee to buy.
1) Tasting and purchasing at the offices of Nordic Approach, a green bean dealer in Oslo, Norway, where we primarily purchase green beans.
2) Ask the producer to send us a sample of green beans, and order after tasting after roasting.
3) Actually go to the country of production, taste a sample, and purchase.
When Fuglen Coffee Roasters was established in 2014, we had little connection with the producers, so we learned the best quality coffee mainly by means of 1), and gradually closed the distance with the producers.
Cupping in Oslo. We cup a lot of coffee from all over the world.
Since then, we have gradually been looking for producers with whom we can work with for as long as possible, and in some countries we continue to buy from our trusted partners every year.
In this second part, I would like to tell you about Ethiopia's purchases, which I was able to go to just before the lockdown due to the new corona this year.
Last week in February I flew to Addis Ababa.
I was planning to go a little earlier, but due to the influence of Corona, the flight was changed several times.
When I arrived at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, I was able to fill in information about my temperature and stay and enter the country. When I entered the city of Addis in the morning, it was as lively as usual.
Cityscape of Addis Ababa
I came here only for the purchase, so I stayed in Ethiopia for 3 days this time.
I arrived in the morning on the first day, so I had a relaxing time without overdoing it.
On the second day, Thursday, February 27th, we had a cupping session at the office of Tropiq, a green bean trader based in Addis.
While grinding some coffee, an accident occurs that causes the grinder to malfunction.
Unfortunately I don't have the parts to fix it so I moved it to another location.
This time, we limited the selection to organically certified producers, and also asked them to collect samples of Washed coffee.
Cupping in Addis Ababa
Harvested and refined between December 2020 and January 2020 when I visited Ethiopia last time.
"Charms and Challenges of Buying Cupping"
I think it's a very lucky job in terms of being able to taste top quality coffee before anyone else. But at the same time, it is difficult and I feel a heavy responsibility.
A particularly difficult point is the difference in the cupping environment.
Addis Ababa is more than 2,300 meters above sea level, and even if you're used to it and in perfect physical condition, the commercially available bottled water used for cupping is still different from Japan, and the taste is also different. Also, the degree of roasting of the sample may not be the best.
In addition, the most appealing state, the freshest state, often becomes an obstacle to feeling the flavor. Coffee beans are an agricultural product and change over time.
Even if the flavor is the best at the time of purchase, the taste may change negatively after it arrives in Japan. On the other hand, even if the flavor is not so pronounced at the time of purchase, there are many things that the flavor increases over time.
We need the ability to assess coffee by considering all such elements.
Well-managed coffee beans will retain their great flavor for a longer period of time, so while evaluating the flavor, other factors are also taken into account when deciding which coffee to buy.
I had another mission this time.
It was to transport the purchased coffee to Japan in a container.
In fact, for the first time, we did direct shipping to send our own coffee to Japan.
We have purchased coffee from Ethiopia many times, but due to the frequent changes in the laws related to the coffee trade and the effects of unstable social conditions, it is difficult to stably procure high-quality coffee from the same producers. , there was a very difficult side.
For that reason, in Ethiopia, we prioritize quality over purchasing from specific producers.
Especially this time, I was more motivated than usual to select the raw beans, partly due to the large volume of direct shipping in the container.
The container arrived safely in Japan in July.
The quality is also the best in Ethiopia so far.
Please enjoy this year's Ethiopia purchased by direct shipping for the first time.
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