Exam Stress

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From cherry to cup within a week. In our FairChain, that is perfectly possible. Marten (Fairfood), Jan (Wageningen University & Research) and Mark (FairChain) were picking some fresh red cherry in Limu coffee fields in the weekend. The Tuesday after that, they met up in Addis Ababa with Ethiopian coffee guru Ashenafi, a certified coffee grader and with Moyee Coffee roaster Agegnehu (photo). Coffee quality is defined by a cupping score. Our goal for this year is Q2 quality, that is cupping score 80 to 85 on a scale of 100.

In Moyee’s coffee lab, Ashenafi roasted samples of green coffee beans that Mark had tagged along in his backpack, travelling from Limu to Addis on Monday. These beans were the first ones arriving in the storage facility, reaching the desired moisture content of 11,5% after some relaxing days in the Ethiopian sun on a drying bed. So Mark filled up a zip-lock bag and went up for a quality examination.

You should know that Ashenafi is a reputedly strict coffee grader. He will never overlook defects or condone mediocre quality. Ashenafi is a perfectionist and in business for more then 20 years already… So Mark was obviously experiencing some exam stress, exposing his beans to a strict assessment.

Limu coffee is renowned for a pleasant acidic taste and light-red winery flavor thanks to local terroir and microclimate. Would the first FairChain beans of 2017 live up to this promise? Yes sir! After a lot of roasting, grinding, drawing, crust breaking, slurping, tasting, slurping and tasting… Ashenafi reached his verdict: the best lot scores 86!! And has the potential to improve, because coffee beans should rest and mature a bit after harvest before consumption… All very preliminary, but for a first test we couldn’t have dreamt of this result!