Bedhatu Jibicho has become a standard-bearer in Royal’s menu. Not only is the octogenarian Ethiopian among the most experienced coffee farmers we work with, she’s also evolved from cooperative member to exporter, taking full advantage of recently ratified changes to the ECX allowing for improved direct trade.
In the past, we’d been able to secure her coffee through a special agreement with the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, in which they held separate, and sold to us directly, lots like that of Bedhatu. However, starting last season, Bedhatu and her neighbors have banded together, with support from her son Tesfaye Roba, using the premiums they’ve received to establish a farmer-owned export company to sell us their coffee independently.
And we couldn’t be more thrilled with the results. If last week’s Homacho Waeno was a soft, sweet, and delicate floral coffee, this coffee from Bedhatu Jibicho and neighbors in the Banko Gotiti kebele of eastern Gedeo is lush, full, and deep with notes of fresh strawberries, black plum, and rosemary. It’s a big, complex coffee with a lot to offer, and it responds really well to multiple roast levels, giving the roaster a lot of options when it comes to playing with its potential flavor profile.
We’re juiced to have this coffee back on the menu. With any luck, a pending shipment of natural coffee from Bedhatu Jibicho will join this resounding washed coffee on the Crown Jewel menu in the weeks to come.