Uraga Tome, Ethiopia

A native of the Guji region in Ethiopia, Tadesse Edema is no stranger to the specialty coffee industry. He set up his first washing station in Uraga over 12 years ago, paving the way for the well-known Layo Teraga Cooperative. Later, the Tome washing station was set up on the other side of the ridge, across the river that separates Hambela from Uraga. Tadesse is a renowned figure in not just the coffee industry but the community as well, contributing to the building of infrastructure such as schools and roads in the region. 

Previously in the 2000s, due to restrictions set by the Ethiopia Government on the coffee industry, coffees had to be traded on the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX). It was conceived to reduce price volatility through a centralized commodity-based trading system. However, this meant that the supply chain between international buyers and private washing stations were broken. Many farmers like Tadesse were unable to get the recognition they deserve, and the higher prices they drew. With new regulations introduced in 2017, cooperative and some larger farmers were able to sell directly to international buyers, and Tadesse was finally able to deliver his world-class coffees without obscuring traceability. 

This is the second time we have bought from Uraga Tome, with a natural processed coffee the previous year. This year's crop has consistently produced some of the highest-scoring Ethiopian lots we have tasted. As a Grade 1 classification, cherries undergo an additional hand-sorting stage to remove defects, ensuring quality.

Want to try other coffees like this? Discover the world of specialty coffee at your doorstep with the Surprise Box coffee subscription program from S$26 per month. 

Written by Shawn Tan
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