Mr. Shore Ourago was introduced to our importer, Crop to Cup, by way of a network of smallholder farmer exporters in Sidama and Yirgacheffe. Shore’s son, Adugna, is the organizer of this smallholder group, having grown up in a strong coffee producing family. In the 1940s Shore’s father (Adugna’s grandfather) was a farmer in the then-sparsely populated Kochere highlands. He began planting coffee after purchasing 10 hectares of land in the neighboring Kebele, Rego. Shore grew up assisting the family business and began his life carrying out the same work as his father. Coffee farming is his one and only life business, says Shore, and he now employs 22 staff during peak harvest.
2022 was a difficult year for Ethiopian coffee. Record inflation and very high cherry prices caused a rush to market, leading to expensive coffees at lower quality. Luckily, working directly with a single grower who owns their own land can mitigate very high prices, drive more revenue to the producer, and let them focus on quality. Working with smaller farms directly keeps us invogorated in working in Ethiopia. Pretty naturals like this one also keep us coming back.