What is responsible coffee buying? It’s a highly personal definition, and every buyer and company needs to make their own decisions. For Catalyst Trade, responsible coffee buying has a lot of elements. One of these elements is expanding our purchases beyond simply cherry-picking top lots that might win awards for our roasters.
Delicate and aromatic - kiwi, sugared lemon, jasmine, vanilla, silver needle, chamomile
We coffee folks tend to share a vein of mystery between us. Whatever our backgrounds—ex-seminarians, biochemists, architects, engineers, musicians and painters—we are pulled toward the same things: Passion. Integrity. Beauty. The ineffable quality of real-life-make-no-mistake-about-it communion. And in this quest, what unites us? Undoubtedly, the holy sacrament of coffee in its purest form; we at Catalyst, unashamedly biased, unite in honoring this as washed Ethiopian coffee.
And, no matter how the world of coffee evolves, washed Ethiopian coffees continue to provide that beautiful moment that pulls us together and forces us to pause and acknowledge the holy mystery that so many hands could touch an agricultural product and create such a mystical communion between an entire globe of coffee drinkers. We are stunned that the outcome could be something so pure and lovely, as if the coffee itself is unafraid of its naked clarity.
Honoring the liquid that brings us unity, we must also honor the water that makes it possible. Even the name “Yirgacheffe” is loosely translated “land of abundant springs”, and is a region flowing in clean water and washed by pure rains. In acknowledgment of the deep-seated rituals of the Ethiopian tradition, and the way that washed Ethiopian coffee continues to be the holy spring around which we coffee professionals gather to celebrate our own kind of sacrament, we have named our washed community lots “Tsebel”, or “Holy Water”. We source Tsebel and its sister natural coffee, Dur Feres, from the families and communities where we source our highest quality microlots. Tsebel has the same level of traceability, is organic certified, and maintains a steady flavor profile which we ourselves curate using coffees from various regions of Ethiopia as they come ripe. This allows us to keep a fresh crop supply always rotating and gives our roasters the assurance that they can build their sourcing programs around having a constant supply of this coffee at the same price and with the same flavor profile they’ve come to expect.