We’re pleased to announce that our Ethiopia Sidama Homacho Waeno was selected late last week as a Good Food Awards winner. This coffee, which we re-released online today, will be available for a limited time as a single origin espresso and drip. Not near a café? Never fear: You can order it on our site, too.
Founded in 1975, the Homacho Waeno cooperative comprises roughly 4,000 members and is located in the southern Ethiopian town of Aleta Wondo. Members tend farms that are, on average, between 5 and 7.5 acres. On these farms, they grow a slew of coffee varieties native to Ethiopia: Gurume, Dega, and Wolisho.
Last year, our green coffee team visited Homacho Waeno to meet its members and learn more about the cooperative’s recent infrastructure improvements. After earning a 1.5 million birr premium on their 2013 harvest (about $78,000 U.S.), Homacho Waeno’s producers got to work: building access roads and bridges from the washing stations to main highways; installing a transformer, which provides electricity to the village and more far-flung surrounding members; and constructing a series of primary schools (kindergarten through 8th grade), which serve communities near each washing station. The cooperative also uses vetiver grass as a natural water filtration system – an innovative, naturally-occurring sustainability trick that’s relatively low-cost, and gaining quite a bit of traction in African coffee-producing nations.
In the cup, this coffee is intensely fragrant. It overflows with hues of berry, jasmine, caramel, and cinnamon. We’d recommend trying it in a Chemex or as an AeroPress. And though we’ve never unwrapped a Werther’s caramel while being dragged through a field of jasmine by a friendly (if overly exuberant) Viking, we’re pretty sure this approximates the experience.
The Good Food Awards, established in 2011, are designed to highlight and reward achievements in both flavor and environmental sustainability. The organization takes a comprehensive view of food production, “honoring people who make food that is delicious, respectful of the environment, and connected to communities and cultural traditions.” We’ve earned this prestigious award just once before, when our Ethiopia Kemgin took top honors back in 2011.