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Visiting Ethiopia -- Touring the Government's Coffee Grading and Exporting Facility

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Our trip to Ethiopia was great! When we were in Addis Ababa we toured the Ethiopian government's coffee grading and exporting facility. When green coffee is sold in Ethiopia it has to be taste tested and graded before it can be exported. The pictures below are of our tour of their main processing plant and the facility where they actually do the sample roasting and tasting as part of the formal grading process. The people at the Coffee Ministry 's lab were great and they let us taste coffee from all of Ethiopia's regions with different processing methods. How a coffee has the pulp from the fruit removed and how the beans are dried all effect the coffee's flavor. For me this was the highlight of our tour. I was able to taste coffee that I may never have the opportunity to taste again because some types of Ethiopia's coffee are exclusively sold in Saudi Arabia and in Asian countries.  

The main warehouse.  It was like the coffee went on forever.

Bags of coffee getting ready to be processed, cleaned and made ready for export.

After the coffee has gone through some cleaning and sorting it then passes on conveyor belts where these ladies pick out debris they may find and defective beans. In this room there were rows and rows of ladies all picking over the green coffee. 

After all the sorting and cleaning the coffee is bagged by these ladies.  They fill each bag with 69 kilos of green coffee. After they bag the coffee it is tasted and graded and only then it can be exported. 

Here we are walking past trucks that are being loaded with exportable coffee.

My favorite part of the tour -- the coffee tasting! It was a fantastic opportunity. I may never get to taste some of these coffees again. The manager is the woman shown and she was so helpful. She gave me tips on improving my coffee tasting skills.

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