Though 678 farmers deliver coffee to the Refisa Washing Station and the Nensebo Woreda contains 5,000 hectares of coffee growing land, Nensebo is a new coffee growing region. It is categorized as Sidama on the Ethiopia Commodities Exchange, a system that creates a central auction for coffees in the country.
Though it was originally conceived as a way to promote smaller and lesser known co-operatives by presenting their coffees to an array of coffee buyers, upon in inception the ECX dealt a harsh blow to traceability, making specialty coffee buying and relationship building difficult. New changes to the ECX in 2018, however, allow for coffees that are traded on the ECX to be purchased by licensed exporters and uses an electronic system to connect traceable info back to farmers.
Refisa represents everything people look for in coffees from Ethiopia: extremely high elevation, long soaking and fermentation times, a mix of heirloom varieties, and consistent mill management. With the new developments to the ECX, our import partner was able to connect with SNAP, an exporter in Ethiopia committed to coffee quality.
A few years ago, a coffee like Refisa could have been lost in the system: purchased for it’s quality, but without the ability to establish a channel back to the washing station that could become a consistent buying relationship. Thanks to hard work from many people along the chain, this small lot from a rural part of Ethiopia gets to be a part of a relationship building decision.