Days 2, 3, and 4 of our trip were were really special, we travelled to Zege Peninsula, an amazing place. Its history is magical and its coffee is delicious.
It felt like a pilgrimage. Zege Forest is so important to the local population. On the surface, the peninsula and its inhabitants seem to live by a different set of rules. Raw and spiritual. They have a huge sense of responsibility to protect the forest. They seem more relaxed, undisturbed by daily material concerns. Humble and faithful, they go about their lives with more respect to their habitat. One thing we agreed on was the importance of Zege Coffee. There are only three crops allowed for cultivation on the peninsula; Lemon, Hops, and Coffee. The coffee ceremony is a must wherever we went. In a world where fewer and fewer things are sacred, coffee here is truly holly. Here we met the village elders and monastery leaders
Thanks to a chance meeting with Gary Battell at Ipswich Market, our combined interest in Coffee, Charity, and Conservation fuelled our commitment to make this trip happen. Gary is an amazing man with lots of love to all the above three causes. He supports Partners for Change in helping women and children in Ethiopia.
David or Goliath !
Neumann Koffee Groupe has done a huge amount of work with the local community supporting different community projects. The company buys Zege coffee at a good price. This season we visited farms and cooperative with some involvement of InterAmerican, a subsidiary of Neumann Koffee Groupe. The company buys Zege Coffee mainly for the German market. Menelik kept his promise to support Coffeelink and secured some of the harvest, exclusive to us here in the United Kingdom. We carefully choose the people we work with. Michael and Eden and Michael Gebreselassie have been fundamental in securing Zege Coffee for Coffeelink. They showed us unbelievable hospitality and worked tirelessly to ensure a successful trip.
Gary Battell involvement is so important to this project. Deforestation on the peninsula was worse but is still happening. The challenge is to ensure alternative employment for the local population. Coffee growing is the main crop. Our goal is to improve the agricultural methods in cultivating and harvesting coffee while providing meaningful employment in the process. Zege peninsula is a designated Biosphere area. Coffee grows in a forest enviroment resulting in a smooth coffee.The coffee is virtually organic.
Zege coffee has light zesty acidity, a smooth body with soft spice with fruity aftertaste. I would strongly recommend this coffee for a long drink like a dripper, a cafetiere or filter rather tha an espresso.
Azzouz El-Mahraoui on the 15th of September 2019
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