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About Ethiopian Coffee from Flavia and UKV

Although not to be confused with the football team of the same name playing out of Addis Ababa, ‘Ethiopian Coffee ‘is also a versatile medium-strength pleasure.

Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee: it is in the forests of the Kaffa region that coffea arabica grew wild. Coffee is “Bun” or “Buna” in Ethiopia, so Coffee Bean is quite possibly a poor anglicized interpretation of “Kaffa Bun”. Coffea Arabica was also found in the Harar region quite early, either brought from the Kaffa forests or found closer by. It is entirely possible that slaves taken from the forests chewed coffee berry and spread it into the Harar region, through which the Muslim slave trade route passed.

Ethiopian coffees are available from some regions as dry-processed, from some regions as washed, and from Sidamo as both. The difference between the cup profiles of the natural dry-processed vs. the washed is profound. Washed Sidamo, Yirgacheffe and Limmu have lighter body and less earthy / wild tastes in the cup as their dry-processed kinfolk. Ethiopian coffee reminds me more and more of fresh produce, because when you find a really great coffee like the dry-processed Koratie, it is like eating Michigan peaches at the height of the season. The flavours are amazing, and when it is gone, it is gone. If all the factors line up just right, it might be the same next year, maybe not.

Ethiopian coffees can vary greatly from lot to lot. It takes A LOT of cupping to find the specific lot of coffee that is superior. Ethiopia exports a lot of coffee, but each year one specific “chop” (lot number) out-cups the others. Lots differ in character, and Mars & Flavia do so much to find the best lot. When they find that coffee, Mars buys the majority of the year’s coffee immediately, leaving a small opening in case any other good lots come along later in the season. Experience tells us that early shipments of the DP Ethiopians are often the best of the season, in contradiction to many other origins where the earliest are often underdeveloped, lower-grown coffees and the mid-crop pickings are better.

Almost thirty years ago, my father John Button, made the choice on behalf of UK Vending Ltd to supply only Flavia and KLIX products from Mars Drinks within the UK. He wanted us to be linked to quality products made well in the case of machines and selected with care when it came to what went into these machines. Our customers throughout that time have enjoyed the benefits of my dad’s choice. They have also enjoyed the benefits of the wise and selective purchasing of teas and coffees by Mars translated into their products and provided in their cup hot and flavoursome by UK Vending. For thirty years our customers have all loved Ethiopian Coffee from Flavia.


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