This coffee stood out as one of the most floral findings of the year. After seeing that most of the farmers waited for all their cherries to ripen before picking, I knew consistency would be high. Even an unsorted sample, straight from the bed, and only 6 hours after roasting, made me smile as these jasmine, guava, peach and black tea notes unfolded on my pallet. No doubt that this will become one of this year’s stunners.

Established in 2012, the Guduba Wet Mill is located in the Benti Nenka Village of the Hambela Wamena district, 20 minutes west of Dimtu town. The wet mill is surrounded by various smallholder farmers who own 1-2 hectares. Maturity of the coffee cherries has been outstanding during the 2019/20 harvest in the area. Part of the reason is that farmers have bigger climatic variations during a year, which enables them to grow several cash crops like corn, teff and false bananas. They are less in need of cash early in the coffee season, so they apply similar harvest principles as Worka Chelbesa, waiting for the whole tree to ripen before harvesting. The wet mill is owned and run by Eyasu Worasa, a native of Dilla who has a combined experience of 11 years in the coffee wet mill industry. The wet mill supplies coffee to SNAP.

Origin name: Benti Nenka
Farm/washing station name: Guduba
Founded: 2013
Altitude: 1900-2100 masl
Region: Guji
Sub Region: Hambela
Number of farms: 526
Farm size: 1-2 hectares
Geolocation coordinates: 5°54’25.0″N 38°30’03.0″E
SNAP COFFEE was established in Addis Ababa in 2008, by coffee-passionate entrepreneur, Negusse D. Weldyes. The company runs three coffee washing and processing stations in Chelelektu, Kochere District of the Gedeo Zone and partnering washing stations in Uraga (Guji) and Nensebo (West Arsi). On average, about 550 farmers supply each washing station.

The company’s supply policy rests on three main pillars:
  1. Process specialty coffee consistently;
  2. Transfer the required know-how to the outgrowing farmers along with a great desire and training in processing and cleaning methods;
  3. Protect the environment through waste recycling systems.
Snap is a business group engaged in other activities as well. They have an electronics assembly business and a software development company. They began their speciality coffee export business after the ECX reformed regulations to make it easier for companies to export coffee in 2017.The company currently exports about 78 containers per year. They employ around 253 employees, of which 13 are in their speciality coffee exporting business.

Snap’s relationship with Tropiq began quite recently. “We are quite at ease because of Tropiq’s efficiency in communication, and even more on logistics facilitation,” Abenezer, Snap’s Supply Chain Manager said. He also reports that Tropiq’s regular and timely feedback on coffee lots have given Snap a lot of insight which helps them supply consistently great coffee.

Vegetation: Semi-forest
Average lot size of farmers: 1-2 hectares
Soil type: Rich and fertile red soil
Number of trees per hectare: 1800-2400
How much cherries per tree on average: 3 kgs
Average selling price of farmers per kilo of cherries in 2019/2020 harvest: $0.80/25 birr


Harvest and cherry selection Cherries are sorted manually and hand sorted later.
Pulping and pre-grading The cherries are pulped by a traditional Agaarde Discpulper. Skin and fruit pulp are removed before the machine grades the parchment in water as 1st or 2nd quality, determined by density.
Fermentation The parchment is fermented in water for 72 hours. Fermentation is slower at higher altitudes as temperatures are generally lower.
Washing and grading in channels Coffees are washed in channels, and graded in water by density. The lower density (lower quality) will float and are removed, leaving only the denser and therefore higher quality beans which are separated as higher grade lots.    
Soaked under clean water Parchment is then soaked in tanks in clean water for 2 hours before it is moved to the drying tables.
Drying and hand-sorting Parchment is piled in layers which are 2cm in height and dried over a 10 day period then followed by hand sorting for 2-4 hours.
Warehousing at the washing station After drying the coffees will be packed in jute bags and stored in the local warehouse onsite, separated by process and grade. Lot sizes can vary from 100 – 300 bags. This process helps condition the coffee and achieve a more uniform humidity. They will normally be stored 1-2 months before they are moved. In some cases the parchment will be hand-sorted in the warehouse.
Transport and logistics After the harvest season is over the coffees are moved to warehouses and dry mills in Addis. Trucking is expensive in Ethiopia. The coffee trucks must pass a local ECX checkpoint where its contents are graded and registered as an exportable product, before it continues to Addis Ababa.   
Warehousing and dry milling The coffee will sit in parchment in a warehouse in Addis. This is when our team will go to the warehouse and collect the samples from the specific stock lots. It remains in parchment until it is contracted and the destination for shipment is confirmed.
Tropiq Lab and quality control Our team on the ground in Addis personally collect samples which we cup and grade, and measure humidity and water activity. When the specific lot is selected for purchase we register the contract with a shipping destination and approve it for milling and shipment. We are present at the dry mill during processing, grading and bagging, and we immediately take a PSS sample for approval.      
Container stuffing and transport We generally try to get our containers stuffed in Addis at the dry mills and moved to the port and straight on a vessel in Djibouti. This way we reduce the risk of delays or mistakes at port that frequently happen when moving coffee by truck for stuffing in Djibouti.

SNAP Coffee supports the community of smallholders living near the washing station through partnerships with washing station owners. The washing stations build schools and SNAP Coffee provides computers and other facilities. Other projects in the works include a road to connect less accessible farming areas to the washing station and health clinics to improve access to healthcare for farmers in the washing station areas.

There is a lot of coffee in Ethiopia, and many good lots, but things are not always as straightforward as they seem. What you cup is not always what you get. With most washing stations, this really depends on the relationship to the suppliers, at what stage you draw the sample and the local warehousing and dry milling facilities used. Tropiq is a Nordic Approach company providing supply chain management services for transparent and traceable coffees direct from origin. Our team in Addis Ababa visit producers, washing stations and warehouses throughout the season. In the peak of the season we are daily in dialogue with the millers and exporters. Having people on the ground gives us early and direct access to samples, first-hand information on coffees, immediate entry to warehouses and timely quality control.