Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting

Ethiopia - Cupping in Addis Ababa (November 2007)

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Mattabu Zemanual
Mattabu Zemanual
Mattabu Zemanual shuttled us to the dentist, then over to the Mullege coffee plant in Addis, our first stop for cupping that day. Mattabu has a lot of family in the US, all working as pharmacists, and he lived in Dallas for 25 years. He has more of a jazz musician accent that a drawl.
Mullege
Mullege
Mullege is a big coffee exporter. This image of their plant does not do it much justice... and this is not their only dry mill in Addis - they have another one too.
Mullege Plant, Massive!
Mullege Plant, Massive!
This is not Mullege's only plant, but it is HUGE. It was bought at auction from the Government. They built it during the socialist era and it was constructed to process 13 to 15 containers per day!
Control Panels
Control Panels
I was fascinated with the vintage control panels used to operate each section of the coffee mill.
Solid State
Solid State
These amazing solid state panels were so cool. The entire plant looked so new, as if it had been frozen in time when it was first constructed (my guess, 1978, but probably in the '80s using older machines)
Red Light Means Danger
Red Light Means Danger
Red Light Means Danger
Seriously Vintage
Seriously Vintage
If this stuff was from the US, I would place it in the '50's or '60s. Big knobs, big lights, big gauges,
Golfetto
Golfetto
And the manufacturer is ... you guessed it, Italian. Golfetto? Maker of golf carts?
Coffee density separators
Coffee density separators
These are pneumatic density separators. I did not see any Oliver table -type separators on this trip, but rather these air-based ones. Personally, I think the tables from oliver and the like are better.
Maintenance Time.
Maintenance Time.
Maintenance time is probably ALL the time, with all this amazing vintage equipment. This is one row of optical color sorters, 10 machines. There are 10 rows ... meaning they have 100 2 lane Sortex optical sorters!
Optical sorting outfeed
Optical sorting outfeed
These belts are were the 10 rows of optical sorters feed out.
Mahabub Mustafa
Mahabub Mustafa
Mahabub is the General Manager of the mill. It's a family business, so his father is the President and his mother is the CFO.
Mattabu, Mahabub and Yilma
Mattabu, Mahabub and Yilma
Mattabu, Mahabub and Yilma. Yilma is the export manager
Amharic text
Amharic text
Amharic is the language taught in most schools, and the official government language in Ethiopia. English is widespread too.
Loaded coffee truck
Loaded coffee truck
There was little coffee being processed since it is so early in the crop at this time. There were a couple loaded trucks hanging around but the coffee in them looked like past crop dry-processed stuff.
Tim shows 'em
Tim shows 'em
Tim talks, as he is wont to do ... a lot.
Tim, Mahabub and Yilma at Mullege
Tim, Mahabub and Yilma at Mullege
Mahabub responds...
Cupping Room time - Probats
Cupping Room time - Probats
So it was time to cup some lots, mostly older crop type samples. They roast on new gas burner Probats, a mere $12,000 bucks each, or $6,000 per barrel.
Probat 4 Barrel Roaster
Probat 4 Barrel Roaster
In the corner, a nice old Probat 4 barrel, not being used.
Hailu Benti, Coffee Cupper
Hailu Benti, Coffee Cupper
Hailu has cupped for 23 years, and works both at Mullege, and a bit at Oromia.
Nice Mahlkonig/Probat Mills
Nice Mahlkonig/Probat Mills
They have some beautiful Mahlkonig mills, sold with Probat labels on them.
Sample Huller
Sample Huller
Here's a nice electric huller, to shell the parchment samples into green bean form. It's good to remember that when you are cupping samples, they are usually pulled from parchment lots, so they are not yet density sorted and screened.
Thompson Owen, cupping at Mullege, Addis
Thompson Owen, cupping at Mullege, Addis
Cupping in my swell new $3 Yemeni haircut.
Thompson, Tim and Mahabub
Thompson, Tim and Mahabub
We looked at 9 samples, all 2006-2007 crop, just to discuss them. There was a nice Kochere district Yirga Chefe, but some samples were understandably flat tasting, and one was overly baggy,
Just a pretty picture ...
Just a pretty picture ...
of the cupping bowls
Just another pretty picture ...
Just another pretty picture ...
of the same damn cupping bowls
lion bus logo
lion bus logo
So we were off again, this time to cup at IPS. On the way, the very cool logo on the orange buses which crowd the Addis streets.
Giant Coke Bottles...
Giant Coke Bottles...
It seems that Ethiopia was formerly occupied by a giant race, evidenced by the huge Coke bottles they left laying around the country. Since Addis is actually quite a new city (founded in the 1880's, it means "New Flower") we can assume that Coke has ben popular in Ethiopia for centries before it was invented in the US.
More Giant Coke Bottles
More Giant Coke Bottles
An older specimen of huge ancestral Coke.
That woman is everywhere ...
That woman is everywhere ...
It's funny how, even in a large city of 4 million, you see the same people over and over. You'll know what I am referring to later...
Getacho W. Mariam of IPS, Addis
Getacho W. Mariam of IPS, Addis
So it was time to hang out at IPS, another coffee exporter who has a different take on Ethiopia coffee. They are not a NGO, but they act like it, with a strong social program tied to their mission to improve coffee, particularily in the Golocha region. Getacho is one of the 5 board members.
Teklu W. Gabriel of IPS Coffee
Teklu W. Gabriel of IPS Coffee
Teklu is another of the board members at IPS, and also their main coffee quality person. He has a very articulate view of their mission, which goes far beyond improving the cup quality, but improving the small producers quality of life in as much as they are willing to work hard and improve their coffee.
Map of IPS Project Areas
Map of IPS Project Areas
These are some of the areas where IPS has coffee mills in Ethiopia. Mills are in Golocha, Gedeo area of Yirga Chefe, Yirga Alem, Sidamo and Djimma at Bokewako. They have a nice Amaro natural Yirga Chefe, and we bought Golocha Sole natural from them this past year.
Getacho at the cupping table
Getacho at the cupping table
It seems that the board members all cup here, a great thing. Golocha coffee was my favorite from last year. Golocha has 11 coffee "belts" Golocha Sole and Golocha Mine being the main ones IPS focuses on. Within these there are townships such as Mahajinga, Socuru and Kombi that each have different cup character.
Teklu W. Gabriel of IPS Coffee
Teklu W. Gabriel of IPS Coffee
Teklu and Stsegay at IPS Coffee lab
Teklu and Stsegay at IPS Coffee lab
Teklu and the cupping room assistant Stsegay. We only had a few new crop samples to cup, all from the Golocha area, which is basically an extention of Harar, but closer to Addis.

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