In plain and simple terms, Kossa Geshe is an organic-certified estate in western Ethiopia. But here at Dispatch, the utterance of the words “Kossa Geshe” - or even just “Kossa” - darn near lights a fire in most folks’ eyes. Now in its fifth year on our menu, Kossa has cultivated an enthusiastic fan club that transcends its seasonal lineup appearance. In the cup, it pairs explosive fruit with clean and transparent sweetness, a balancing act that few dryly processed coffees can manage. And although our coffee program has come to embrace a wider range of high-quality examples of dryly processed coffees since we first welcomed Kossa several years ago, it is still our first and fiercest love. In the cup, we taste strawberry, hibiscus, and watermelon.
In addition to its elegant vibrance in the cup, we purchase Kossa each year for its sustained commitment to improving the livelihoods of its farmers and community. Abdul Wahid Sherif, Kossa’s owner, has built a school for young children directly on the estate, and has also donated to another school in the area. In the past year, he has renovated the temporary lodging for seasonal harvesters, continuing his ongoing improvements of the conditions of employee facilities, as well as drying and sorting infrastructure, altogether setting the place up for success for many more years ahead.
This year’s Kossa feels like even more of a blessing than usual. It is as delicious as ever, but in the context of Ethiopia’s tumultuous, heartrending political and social situations, we need to doubly emphasize how much of a humbling privilege it is to work with such a remarkable offering. At time of writing, conflict in Ethiopia is intensifying, with the threat of full-scale civil war looming large, and our hearts are with the countless farmers and allies we have made there over the years.