Mike Mamo and the team at Addis Exporter have been an integral part of Passenger’s sourcing operations in Ethiopia for a number of years now. As key facilitators and suppliers for our Agaro Foundational lots, as well as a number of Reserve Lot selections, our buying team stays in regular contact with Mike and Addis Exporter as we continue to build our partnership in support of their numerous projects in the Gera Woreda of Ethiopia’s Jimma Zone. One such project is the Atoma washing station, which is the second site privately owned and operated by Mike, along with his original site, Telila. This selection is the first dry processed community lot from the new Atoma washing station we purchased from this highly capable team, which includes Fikru Ashenafi, Mike's talented quality assistant from Addis Exporter.
As a community lot, this coffee is composed of deliveries brought to the Atoma station in Gera by a community of farmers who live in the nearby kebele of Wanja Kersa (a kebele is the smallest administrative unit in Ethiopia). It’s predominantly composed of the variety ‘74112’, one of several varieties selected for their yield potential and resistance to coffee berry disease by researchers at the Jimma Agricultural Research Center (JARC). Since their original identification and selection from the Illubabor forest in the 1970s, the 74112 variety and other JARC selections have become some of Ethiopia's most commonly cultivated coffee varieties. After processing and drying, Telila and Atoma station coffees are milled and prepared for export by Addis Exporter.
Despite the Atoma Station only being in its first full season of operation this past year, the clean and juicy cup profile of this coffee is a testament to the expertise that Mike and the quality control team at Addis Exporter bring to their work at every step, from processing to milling. Atoma also plans to introduce honey and washed processing in the year ahead. Having tasted great honey lots from prior harvests processed at the Telila washing station, our buying team looks forward to exploring yet more unique selections from Atoma in the future.
- 2000 masl
Agaro is a town located in the Jimma Zone of southwestern Ethiopia, in close proximity to forests that are credited as the birthplace of coffee itself. Clustered around Agaro town are scores of washing stations where local smallholder farmers deliver their freshly harvested coffee for processing.
Passenger has purchased coffees grown by Agaro farmers since 2016 and we currently rely on the support of two distinct producers, Kata Muduga Union and Addis Exporter, to process and export our annual selections.
Kata Muduga is an administrative umbrella organization that connects farmer cooperatives in the Agaro region with coffee buyers from around the world. Addis Exporter, a family-owned company led by Mike Mamo, operates two processing sites in the area and purchases coffee from many of the same farmers.
While they differ in scope and organizational structure, Kata Muduga and Addis Exporter share a view of specialty coffee production as a promising path to improved livelihoods for Ethiopian coffee farmers. Both entities place a large emphasis on the health of the communities that they work with through ongoing investment in social projects such as building schools, constructing roads, and improving community access to clean water.