We first experienced the farm in 2014 and since then, we have been the main buyer of Akmel’s coffee. Our working relationship has evolved over the years into very exciting projects. Last year, we finally released an experimental fermented coffee processed anaerobically.
Encountering the joy from Akmel and his pride when we succeed with these extraordinary projects are what make the effort and process worth it. Cupping the experimental samples last year was amazing. The quality was so high that we could offer Akmel 8$/lb which corresponds to a Quality Bonus of 765%. This was a great achievement for everyone involved in the project, and this year’s samples are no exception. Having built on what we learned, improving the quality, we look forward to cupping the results.
Stay tuned for the full story about this year’s experimental coffee!
Imagine trees tall enough to reach the sky. Beautiful wildlife, monkeys and birds of a thousand colours revel in their luscious habitat. According to Akmel anything and everything takes part in creating good coffee; from animals and microorganisms, the symbiotic relationship amongst trees and the only energy source used on the farm, the sun.
Through the years, however, the liberal growth of the coffee trees has made them too tall to be picked and many of them had to be cut down. This has been one of the first tasks of the new farm manager, Desta Magetsa. Desta has great experience with growing coffee and is a very thorough and patient man filled with energy and new ideas! We were extremely pleased to meet him for the first time on our previous visit at the beginning of 2020.
On a more serious note, we feel it is important to share the good news with you as well as sad news.
For the past two years, there have been several problems in the area of Akmel’s farm. Robberies have been a huge problem, farms have been attacked and vandalised and a lot of Akmel’s workers have been scared off by this.
Now, we have finally witnessed a change. There is still a long way to go, but we see improvements from every day passing by. For Akmel, the ideal is to have 65 steady employees throughout the year and up to 160 during harvest season. Because of the problems surrounding the farm last year, there were 12 steady employees and only around 80 during harvest. Because of this, the harvest was merely 1/3 of the usual.
Akmel witnessed how they could not manage to keep up picking as there were not hands enough and could just see cherries dry up on the coffee bushes only to drop to the ground. Because of the lack of regular employees, it has been very hard to maintain the farm. Luckily, the situation has improved, the farm is back in shape and there are around 62 regular workers and all the pickers Akmel needs. This has given room for tremendous improvements, including a brand new nursery that is extremely efficient and much closer to the farm than the previous.
This harvest we find it to be more spicy than usual. The Natural process has helped enhance the sweetness and fruitiness. Roasted aggressively to develop beautiful, rich aromas of dried fruit and nuts.