Ethiopia: The Birthplace of Coffea Arabica
As the roaster hums across the production floor, I can’t help but feel a slight bittersweetness in seeing the final batch of our Matahara Grade 1 loaded in to the drum. This gem of a coffee has quite possibly been the most elegant offering to grace our menu to date. And yet, we are only beginning to break in to our reserves of the several other offerings we selected on our sourcing trip to Ethiopia last February — Wondo, Kochere, and Guji are still in high supply and will be featured on our offerings list throughout this autumn. Ethiopia was an unforgettable experience for me personally; but for Parlor, it was the first small step in establishing a keystone relationship for our sourcing program in East Africa. On this tour of Ethiopia’s prized coffee regions, we were generously guided by Heleanna Georgalis of Moplaco Trading Company. Heleanna took the reigns of her father’s export company after his passing some recent years ago. In taking over the operations of Moplaco, Heleanna has successfully developed a reputation for very high quality coffees. Her value as an exporter lies not only in her extensive knowledge of the regions of Ethiopia but further in the meticulous milling she delivers. Dry milling is a critical pinch point for quality in all coffee production: when dry milled poorly, coffee with great potential suffers, and when dry milled very well, coffee with great potential shines. We are excited and proud to have begun a relationship with an exporter so squarely focused on delivering a high standard with a by-the-book principle in a very complex growing region. And yet, we are more than ever inspired by the birthplace of coffea arabica: its people, the land, the music, and the long bumpy roads. We look forward to returning again soon.