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By Everyday Coffee Roasters

Ethiopia Sidama Organic Shanta Wene

The climb from the southern end of the Great Rift Valley, through Shashamene and past Awasa is gradual, and coffee trees slowly increase in frequency, large, lanky, and dusty by the roadside, many so tall they lean on the roofs of houses for support. Coffees here are earlier than in the far south, delicate, and citric. Sidama has one of the most robust cooperative unions in the country with 53 member cooperatives, as well as a thriving industry of independent washing stations. Testi Ayla is one such independent, owned by Testi Coffee PLC and operated by Faysel Yonis.

The Testi Ayla washing station is located in Shanta Wene, a small community in eastern Sidama, close to the Harenna Forest preserve. The 1000 farmers delivering cherry to Testi Ayla average two hectares each in this area and some of the highest elevations in the whole of Sidama. There are three collection sites responsible for managing cherry delivery throughout the catchment area. Testi Ayla processes equal volumes of both fully washed and natural coffees of the highest quality. Washed lots at Testi Ayla are fermented slowly—36 to 48 hours–due to the low ambient temperatures in the region and the replenishment of cold groundwater throughout the process. Drying takes 10-12 days and wet parchment is often covered during the searingly-hot afternoon hours to protect it from cracking. Naturals here take even longer to dry, due to overnight low temperatures and humidity, which slow dehydration.

The result is a clean, strawberry-like cup with abundant complexity. It’s hard to find grade 1 naturals in Sidama, as the vast majority of the zone’s coffee tends to be washed, or sundried of a lower grade. Private processors like Testi Ayla are a thing to behold. It’s a tough business being a private processor in Sidama, as the sheer density of competition among washing stations tends to push cherry prices high throughout a single harvest, and privates often don’t have the backing of a larger union to secure financing, regulate cherry prices, or bring export costs down with centralized milling and marketing.

Successful private washing stations like Testi Ayla, then, need to be not only standout quality processors to stay afloat; they must also be excellent business developers with connections and community standing, to continue winning the business of farmers and buyers alike, and stay afloat for the long term.

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CoronaVac: Sinovac - FAQs
By Everyday Coffee Roasters

As we are getting ready to return back to normal, here are all the answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on COVID-19 vaccine Sinovac by the Department of Health.

What COVID-19 vaccines have been granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?

  • Sinovac vaccine is the 3rd vaccines to be granted an EUA in the Philippines. Pfizer BioNTech and Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines have been previously granted an EUA by the Philippine FDA.

When did the Philippines FDA grant the EUA for Sinovac?

  • The Philippines FDA granted an EUA to Sinovac on February 22, 2021.

What other countries have been granted an EUA for the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine?

  • Five countries including China, Indonesia, Turkey, and Brazil have EUA approvals  for the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine (as of Feb 11, 2021).

Is Sinovac safe?

  • Yes. As per the evaluation of the Philippine FDA, and concurred by expert groups, the safety profile for clinically healthy individuals aged 18-59 years old is good. Adverse events were mild to moderate, and the possibility of allergy or anaphylaxis is minimal.

Is the CoronaVac (Sinovac) effective?

  • Yes. Clinical trial data show that the vaccine is 50% effective in preventing mild symptoms, 78% effective against moderate symptoms, and 100% effective against severe symptoms.
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Back on the Horse
By Everyday Coffee Roasters

as written by Max Nicholas-Fulmer on Jan 9, 2018. #Repost


Harar has always held a special place in my heart. One of the very first coffee trips I ever took involved meeting The Man in Harar, Mohamed Abdullahi Ogsadey, quite literally a Somali King with four wives and nearly 50 children. I was seven. For years, We were the exclusive carrier of the world renowned Harar Horse mark, the result of a serendipitous connection over Telex Machine in the 1980’s between my father, Bob, and Mr. Ogsadey. Whenever anyone says “blueberries” at a cupping table, my mind immediately returns to the heady Moka-Harar flavors of the mid 1990’s. I can still recall driving into dusty villages in East Harar as a teenager with Mr. Ogsadey, with literally the entire community coming out to see him and pay respect, the children chanting his name. Hell, I even have a poem tattooed on my back written by the first European to ever set foot inside the walls of the Old City of Harar, Sir Richard Burton, who traveled there disguised as an Arab trader in 1854.


148 years later, as a Senior in High School, I traveled along with Rashid Abdullahi, Mr. Ogsadey’s nephew and right-hand man, to visit a site in East Harar called Masira, where MAO had initiated a raised-bed drying protocol. At this time, most Ethiopian naturals were still dried in thick layers on cement patios, even in Yirgacheffe. In Harar, the standard was (and still is, in most places) to simply dry the cherries directly on the dirt between the coffee trees. This project was very exciting. As good as Harar Horse had always been, it was poised to be even better. But by 2006, the year I graduated college and started working full-time, Mr. Ogsadey had passed away (of a heart attack while driving himself, where else, through East Harar) and the coffee trade was about to have a bomb dropped on it in the form of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange. The long and short of the ECX was that it greatly improved price transparency and has led to higher cherry prices for farmers, particularly over the past few seasons, but all at the expense of traceability. The ECX made it technically illegal for an exporter to be both involved at the farm or mill level and involved in the exporting of coffee. Abdullah Bagersh’s famous Misty Valley mill (now called Aricha), had to be sold. Countless ground-level projects, including MAO’s raised bed initiatives, were essentially scrapped as exporter involvement and crucial funding dried up.


We continued to buy Harar, from Rashid Abdullahi, under the mark of Queen City. In reality, this coffee has been only a faint echo of past glories, with quality dependent on what Rashid could buy in the ECX auction. His frustration at knowing East Harar like the back of his hand, but not being able to access the top producing communities over the past-decade has been palpable. In truth, the only coffees we’ve been able to buy from Ethiopia with any semblance of traceability below the high-level regional distinctions of Yirgacheffe, Sidama, etc have had to come through the quasi-governmental Cooperative Unions, or been the result of cloak and dagger tactics by certain less-than-entirely-above-board exporters willing to “shepherd” the coffee through the ECX warehouses. I made my peace with it long ago on the justification that higher cherry prices for farmers and better quality for roasters more than offset any moral or legal qualms.

Fortunately, this year new rules are in place opening the door once again to direct sales by mills to foreign buyers, and greatly loosening the restrictions on exporter involvement at the ground level. It only took ten years, but the ECX seems to have finally gotten it right. As a result of this opening, Rashid is once again on the ground in East Harar with a new raised-bed project called Nafisifi. We cupped it yesterday and were struck by the Ripe Blueberry and Concord Grape flavors we encountered. Somewhere, Mr. Ogsadey is smiling down enjoying a giant steaming plate of Goden Kibe Mitmita (spicy ribs). 

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Daguma Sultan Kudarat
By Everyday Coffee Roasters

The name Sultan Kudarat given to the province was derived from the Muslim ruler, Sultan Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat who begun to assert his leadership in the year 1619 and reigned in the Sultanate of Maguindanao from 1625 to 1671. Through his leadership, Spanish forces were successfully repelled from encroaching the Cotabato region of south-central Mindanao. He is considered a national hero, and in his honor the province was named after him.

Mount Daguma consists of steep mountain ridge that runs from north-west to south-east, and forms a steep escarpment at the edge of the Alah River valley. A block of old growth forest is shown in this area on recent forest cover maps. Much of this forest must be montane, but there may be some lowland forest remaining on the lower slopes.

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Panama Finca Las Brumas
By Everyday Coffee Roasters

Finca Las Brumas is a 60 acre farm in the famed Boquete growing region on the border of Costa Rica. Las Brumas’ close proximity to La Amistad International Park, the largest natural reserve in Central America, brings a wealth of ecological advantages to this corner of Panama. Cesar Arauz has been managing his family’s farm for over a decade and dedicates his efforts to preserving its pristine ecology. Cesar relies on 6 year-round employees and another 60 seasonal workers from the Ngobe Bugle indigenous group who meticulously pick ripe cherries during the harvest. After harvesting, the coffee is depulped, fermented, washed, and carefully dried on covered patios and raised bed.

Origin Details:

GROWER: Cesar Arauz | Finca Las Brumas
REGION: Santa Clara, Renacimiento, Chiriqui, Panama
SOIL: Volcanic Loam
ALTITUDE: 1360-1490m
VARIETAL: Cataui, Caturra, Geisha, San Ramon
PROCESS: Washed (Sun-Dried)

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