Worka – Legese Lemiso marks the annual return of single origin coffees from Ethiopia. Moplaco, our partner in Ethiopia, secured this coffee from the Legese Lemiso washing station in the West Arsi Zone. It exhibits the clean, bright, and juicy tones that define the best Ethiopian coffees.
Small-holder farmers who own or rent small plots of land in the countryside grow most Ethiopian coffee. There, they pick coffee cherries from some of the most genetically diverse coffee trees on the planet. Ethiopia is home of Coffea Arabica. Therefore, Ethiopia distinguishes itself, in part, by the unique varieties available. In addition, many improved hybrid varieties (also unique to Ethiopia) have been bred from these natural (aka “landrace”) varieties.
Once farmers have picked coffee, they must sell cherry to a station or cooperative. After that, it will be further processed and prepared for export. Legese Lemiso is a privately owned washing station in the Worka kabele (village) of Nensebo, West Arsi. The West Arsi Zone occupies an area to the south of the capital of Addis Ababa. It is just north of the famed Sidama and Guji zones. The centralized processing of coffee yields consistently good results in Ethiopia, but this approach limits traceability to individual farms. As a result, the name of the washing station, broad region, or cooperative identifies most single origin coffee from Ethiopia. For example, we call this coffee Worka – Legese Lemiso. So, we use the name of the kabele (village), Worka, in combination with the name of the washing station.
Heleanna Georgalis made a challenging, yet brave decision to take over her father’s exporting company, Moplaco, after his sudden passing. After returning to Ethiopia to run Moplaco in 2008, Heleanna dove into the world of coffee. She managed to keep Moplaco in business and improve upon a great model. Moplaco reestablished their reputation around their ability to source and then sort and export consistently amazing Ethiopian coffees. In more recent years, Moplaco built their own washing stations and invested in a farm. Moplaco’s dedication to their full time staff and female leadership sets them way apart from other companies in Ethiopia. As a result, we identify Moplaco as a potential long-term partner in Ethiopia. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Moplaco. In late 2019 or early 2020, we plan to teach barista skills classes to Ethiopian women. Moplaco hosts these courses at their coffee bar in Addis Ababa.
Our relationship with The Collaborative Coffee Source began a little over two years ago. Early in that relationship, we were up front with their team. Initially, we let them know we desired more substantive relationships in Ethiopia. Their response was simple and direct. “Come to Ethiopia with us.” So, in January 2018 we went. We visited Moplaco, who we’d sourced coffee from through CCS. We also traveled to Gedeo and Guji to meet new parters at Guji Highlands PLC and Snap Exporters. The trip fulfilled our goal of better understanding the Ethiopian coffee economy. In addition, we also gained insight into how we could position ourselves to be better partners in the future.
lemon, orange, honey, caramel, lime, jasmine, apricot, creamy
Roastratings.com recently awarded Worka – Legese Lemiso 5-stars.
Husen Adem grows coffee in Sawana, Ethiopia. Recently, he inherited six hectares of land from his father. Now, he grows coffee there to support his young family. The Sawana Kabele is part of the larger Odo Shakiso, Guji region. His coffee expresses the fruity and funky notes that have made natural process coffees from Guji famous. The unique and intriguing notes come from a variety of factors: coffee cherry quality, processing quality, and intentional sourcing. This popular style of coffee encouraged collaborative sourcing in Ethiopia over the past two years.
Mike Marquard of Blueprint met Ture Waji in January of 2018. At the time, Ture’s aunt and uncle employed him as a representative of their coffee stations in Guji – Guji Highlands PLC and Mormora PLC. From this first meeting, Blueprint sourced Allona last year.
Since that harvest, Ture started his own company, Dambi Uddo Agro Industry PLC in the Dambi Uddo area of Guji. There, he buys fresh-picked cherry from local farmers, like Husen Adem. First, they buy only the best cherries. Then, they thinly spread them on top of raised beds to dry. As a result, risk of molding and rotting during the drying process is reduced. Additionally, it allows the sweet fruit flavors to be more present in the cup.
Currently, the station only employs the natural process for drying coffee from Husen Adem and other farmers in Shakiso, Ethiopia.
Gold and Tantalum make up Guji’s primary export. Coffee, however, is the major cash crop. Unfortunately, the two industries compete for land. The mining trade demands deforestation in Guji. So, the progressive stations in Guji, like Dambi Udo, Guji Highlands, and Mormora, promote reforestation with native trees.
Team taste notes: cherry, grapefruit, campari, orange, lemon, malt, molasses, berry
The seasonal and transparent coffee blend, Tektōn, chases a difficult goal – highlighting complexity while being approachable. Tektōn satisfies the novice or experienced coffee lover. Regular coffee changes throughout the year maintain balance and seasonality.
We commit ourselves to exhibiting the qualities of one of the most flavorful beverages in the world. To do so, we create and construct balanced, intoxicating, and special flavor experiences. Our single origin offerings are delicious and complete by themselves, but blending creates something new and unique. French wine and cocktails, like the Sazerac, guide us. By adding a small amount of five ingredients (sugar, bitters, lemon, absinthe, ice), a serving of whiskey becomes a new experience. This is a different, yet delicious, taste experience than that offered by any neat pour.
Tektōn, a seasonal coffee blend, compliments our single origin offerings. It matches the integrity of those offerings by remaining a seasonal coffee with a transparent supply chain. We embrace the future insight and taste experiences Tektōn will provide.
Version 17 blends two sweet coffees that are quite different from one another. Cordillera Isabelia from Nicaragua contributes sweet, nutty, brown sugar notes. Then, Worka – Legese Lemiso from Ethiopia brings the fruity and floral sweetness. Together, the coffees combine to create an experience not too different than fruity baked goods.
brown sugar, nutty, molasses, lemon, lime, blueberry
Penrose, named after the triangle, is our seasonal espresso blend. We feel the perfect espresso is an impossible goal, but we still strive to create it. Penrose is our ever-updated offering in the quest for the perfect espresso. While the seasonal components will vary throughout the year, it is always (nearly) perfect for your hopper.
Penrose seasonal espresso blend aims to:
Penrose also does well in the brewer – look for notes of lasting sweetness and heavy body, with a subdued acidity.
Sometimes our sourcing plans do align ever so perfectly. For v23, we combine our work in Guatemala with Los Volcanes and the beginning of our work in Ethiopia with Dambi Uddo AI. For three years now, we’ve purchased washed coffee from San Carlos, the neighboring farm to the wet mill operated by Los Volcanes. This coffee testifies to the consistency and quality of the Antigua region, intentional growing, and fantastic processing.
Dambi Uddo AI marks its first complete harvest with the 2018-2019 season. Active partner Ture Waji hosted us in Guji, Ethiopia in January of 2018. His focus on natural processing, the growers in Guji, and the environment were obvious. At that time, he represented his aunt and uncle’s stations at Mormora and Allona. So, when he established his own station in Guji this year, we partnered with Atlantic Specialty to bring part of his first natural crop to St. Louis. Husen Adem grows coffee near Ture’s collection station on six hectares of land. As a result of the partnership with Ture, we connected to our first single-farm Ethiopian coffee. This just goes to show that maintaining relationships and some patience can pay off.
chocolate, blueberry, earthy, heavy-bodied, brown sugar
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