“Our grandfathers left us a timeless treasure,” Lankamo Lana tells me as we walk through the impenetrable lush garden farms of the Homacho Waeno Cooperative in Sidamo. “The ability to understand how to keep coffee ageless through garden farms,” he says.
Most coffee farms can be traversed with ease through the relatively wide spaces between growing coffee trees, but here, the spaces between are filled with growing food. I can barely keep up with him as I carefully avoid destroying the delicate crops. I stare at him, pretending I understood what he just said, as he disappears into the next garden.
I was determined to seek out what he meant, and how that would eventually be interpreted in a cup of coffee from this land. Looking out over the fields, appropriately known as “coffee gardens” is enough to give you a sense of what makes them timeless. At the bottom of each coffee stem you’re sure to find a heap of organic compost blending itself with the rich red dirt. Every leaf seems to glimmer, forcing you to squint to focus your sight on the clusters of burgundy ripe coffee cherries.
To maintain the purity of a masterpiece, even the finest of artists has to understand the value of process. The coffee journey after harvesting is long, involving a number of transit points along many different processes. The journey is often fragmented and can put the coffee’s integrity at risk every time it changes hands. Reducing that risk has been a challenge for coffee buyers.
To preserve the timeless quality of Starbucks Reserve™ Organic Ethiopia Sidamo, we’ve made that journey traceable. By holding all players in the long and fragmented supply chain accountable, we can safeguard against risks to quality, economic transparency, social responsibility and environmental stewardship associated with this bean that can arise after a coffee leaves its place of origin and before it reaches your cup. (Watch a video of this coffee's journey below.)
When our team began evaluating the coffee, it did not disappoint. During the cupping, one taster was reminded of the aroma of warm and spicy gingerbread that immediately fills the room when it comes out of the oven. Our artisan roasters have done a magnificent job articulating the harmony of this garden coffee at just the right roast. Organic Ethiopia Sidamo sings with a tune you are sure to hear as you savor each cup.