Even more than 10 years after its „discovery“, the forest coffee from the Ethiopian Lake Tana, more precisely from the Zege peninsula, continues to be on everyone’s lips in the truest sense. The coffee project from Lake Tana, initiated by INTEWO and the coffee roasting company Da Capo, Lemgo, has developed sustainably. And so in 2019 coffee lovers worldwide will again enjoy this very high-quality and unique forest coffee.
Already in 2007, the Zege coffee was presented as a special raw coffee production for Da Capo in the context of an Ethiopian coffee ceremony. Until that day, the coffee was just a product for the local market around the town of Bahir Dar, without being aware of the extraordinary quality of the beans. Until Henning Schwarze presented some coffee beans to the coffee expert Stefan Bös after one of his trips to Lake Tana. Stefan was enthusiastic from the first sip of the flavor, the quality, and so the two began to start a development project from a bag of coffee beans. it does not take long, that with the help of the Da Capo network, interest in the coffee also aroused in the metropolis of Hamburg and another partner could be won with InterAmerican Coffee (IAC).
Around Lake Tana, Ethiopia’s largest lake and the source of the Blue Nile, coffee has been growing ever since. Nevertheless, this region is not one of the classic coffee growing areas in Ethiopia. Originally there was a large area of forest coffee in this region, but the logging of the last decades has lead to the fact that the historic forest coffee around Lake Tana could no longer be produced. Except on the small peninsula Zege, on the southeastern shore of the lake. Because this is the only place where traditional coffee can still thrive in the protection of the forest, in the protection of one of the last contiguous forest areas of this size around Lake Tana. Traditionally, the locals and the historic monasteries here are engaged in coffee cultivation for their own use or for the local market. Exports were sporadic, if any.
Convinced of the quality of the coffee and driven to stimulate impulses for a sustainable development project in the region, Stefan and Henning optimized the harvest and processing of the coffee for more than four years, in cooperation with IAC and coffee farmers on site. The result is the fantastic Zege Forest Coffee, which will be preserved through this project.
Now, more than 10 years have passed and Lake Tana is recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve. The forest coffee production on Zege was independently developed, organized and optimized by the local population during this time. Meanwhile the harvest 2019 is taking place and so this very special coffee will again be available in the coffee shops around the world.