Intro by Mayra Orellana-Powell
Bedhatu Jibicho is like family here at Royal and her family’s journey in coffee is emblematic of the recent changes in the Ethiopian export rules, which have opened new opportunities to develop relationships with vertically integrated suppliers.
Roba and Family Coffee, established by Bedhatu’s sons, is one example of a newly formed export company now directly offering lots from the Gedeb district including their mother’s coffee.
While the Roba family has expanded their reach to support other producers, we are always pleased to have an offering from Bedhatu’s 84-acre farm, which she has personally managed for over 50 years without the use of chemical inputs. Larger than most farms in the area, Bedhatu employees 20 year-round workers and another 130 seasonal workers for the harvest who are primarily women.
For this natural processed coffee, cherries are carefully hand sorted and floated to separate out less dense and damaged coffee, and then placed on raised beds where it is hand sorted again and dried over a period of 20 days. The cherries are often covered during the afternoons to prevent harsh drying in the intense sun.
As a family owned business, emphasis on social impact in the communities where they source coffee is taking shape. The Roba family has invested in more localized cherry collection sites to reduce the transportation cost for other producers. They have also contributed to road construction projects that make travel a bit easier for everyone.
Once again, Bedhatu Jibicho’s coffee has come through with exceptional execution. Ripe blackberries burst onto the palate after unmistakable lavender and ripe raspberry aromas rise from the grounds. The coffee is aromatic and effervescent, Meyer lemon and apricot are highlighted on the top end, cantaloupe and purple grape round out the finish, and lingering florality reminds you of the aromatics well after the cup is finished. It’s an incredible experience, made all the more enjoyable by virtue of the longstanding relationship with the Roba family.