Ethiopia Gemeda Elias Dube / COE 2020 #19
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Elevation: 1878-1998 m.a.s.l.
We Taste: Lychee, Honeydew, Lemon Tea
From the first-ever Cup of Excellence (COE) competition held in Ethiopia, this natural-processed coffee landed the 19th place, with a score of 87.79. Since 1999, COE has hosted coffee quality competitions in various coffee-producing countries, rewarding farmers with top-dollar prices. In 2020, the inaugural COE in Ethiopia was held, with over 1400 samples submitted for evaluation.
In light of Covid-19, this COE was held differently from preceding ones. Only the preselection was held in Ethiopia, with head judge Paul Songer and supporting head judge John Thompson working with 16 national judges to narrow down the list to 150 lots. Then the pandemic struck, and the rest of the jury could no longer travel to Ethiopia to hold the competition.
To mitigate this, the samples were evaluated by a panel in Portland, USA, to determine the top 40 lots. Finally, as part of the international stage, the lots were sent to COE judges around the world to evaluate in their respective labs around the world.
The producer of this prized lot, Gemeda Elias Dube, has been working on his father's coffee farms since he was 15 years old. Upon reaching 21, he started his own coffee farm on 7 hectares of land given to him by his father. Today, his farm has grown to 86 hectares. Gemeda also oversees the production from 103 outgrower farmers on another 490 hectares, which collectively produce 1340 tonnes of coffee annually. He provides seedlings and technical support to the farmers, ensuring quality production.
Gemedas processes both natural and washed coffees. His coffees were typically sold through the Ethiopia Coffee Exchange (ECX), but the COE competition has given him a chance to showcase the quality behind his coffees. “This kind of competition is what quality producers like us can benefit from,” Gemeda said. This coffee is a natural-processed lot, fruit-forward, full of flavor, and extremely clean and clear.