Ethiopia has been interwoven with the history of coffee for centuries. In fact, Ethiopia is renowned as the origin of coffee. Even after it began to be cultivated on a global scale, it remained a component of an Ethiopian traditional ceremony where community members gather to share a cup of coffee while conversing.
Musician Abel Tesfaye, better known by his stage name The Weeknd, collaborated with Blue Bottle Coffee, a specialty coffee roaster and retailer, to launch a coffee brand called Samra Origins in honor of Ethiopian coffee culture and excellence. The coffee ceremony, which is practiced in many Ethiopian households, was a major inspiration for the brand.
Samra Origins, named after the singer’s mother, was introduced on May 9, 2023, with a limited run of coffee from Exceedingly Rare Ethiopia Wolde Faye Koricha #7. In 2022, the Cup of Excellence, a prestigious competition and auction of high-quality coffee, recognized the coffee variety that he cultivated using his extensive experience and knowledge acquired from the community in which he grew up.
Wolde Faye, a coffee producer and farmer aged fifty, was born in Jimma, Oromia Region. Jimma, a place renowned for its coffee, is a location where numerous individuals cultivate coffee.
Since he came from a coffee farming family, he picked up firsthand knowledge of the many different types of coffee and the steps required to produce high-quality, all-natural coffee from his relatives.
After more than two decades of experience in the coffee industry, he has acquired the skills and expertise necessary to produce coffee using only natural methods. The coffee that, according to the Cup of Excellence scoring system, has an overall bittersweet chocolate, floral, and sweet flavor was ranked seventh.
Wolde has endeavored to learn from the cultivators and coffee farmers who reside and work in his vicinity. This caused him to mature and improve, ultimately resulting in last year’s award-winning blend.
“There were people who resided near me whose primary occupation was coffee cultivation, as Jimma is known as a coffee-growing region. “There were a number of people before me who tried out for the Cup of Excellence but were unable to make it due to different mistakes,” he explained.
Although it didn’t work out for the majority of competitors, it was one of the reasons why he entered the competition, according to Wolde. He says he was able to learn from others mistakes and apply his existing knowledge to ensure that he would not repeat the errors made by those who arrived before him.
Before the Cup of Excellence team recognized his coffee in 2022, Wolde claims that it was able to meet the requirements among the Woredas of his hometown and once more among regional coffee producers.
Although the Cup of Excellence, which, according to Wolde, is a great platform for coffee farmers and producers, is no longer operating in Ethiopia, he intends to continue learning and refining his coffee production skills to produce better and more potent blends each year.
“I want to continue on this path of creating a blend that improves with each passing year. I believe that coffee has enormous potential for Ethiopian farmers and the Ethiopian market, but we do not exploit it. I intend to utilize the coffee production industry to the best of my ability, and I intend to improve my work each year,” he says.
Besides his long-term plan to improve his coffee production skills, Wolde wants to collaborate with his woreda and share his knowledge with nearby coffee producers and cultivators so they can reach the same level he did.
The coffee cultivators and producers in his community, according to him, have a great deal of untapped potential. He expects to be able to assist as many as possible in producing high-quality coffee, which will lead to a more favorable outcome.
Wolde hopes to work in the coffee industry in a manner that is both productive and profitable for him and to continue to grow his brand and coffee over the coming years.