Ethiopian coffee taps into a growing taste among the young

【Drink】Time:2023-01-10      Source:Xinhua      Views:94

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ADDIS ABABA — The increasing number of consumers and the growing popularity of Ethiopia's coffee among Chinese people is propelling Ethiopia's coffee export market, officials and coffee exporters say.

"Young people in China are really fond of Ethiopian coffee, and we are witnessing growing coffee market share there and in other parts of Asia," says Adugna Debela, director general of the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority.

Ethiopia exported 11,935 metric tons of coffee to China in the last Ethiopian fiscal year, which ended on July 7, worth $65.3 million, 84 percent more than in the previous year, the authority says.

The increase made China the seventh major importer of Ethiopian coffee last fiscal year. It ranked 33rd in the previous fiscal year.

Ethiopia's 300,000 tons of coffee exports during the year were worth $1.4 billion. The top five destinations were Germany, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Belgium and Japan.

China would be one of the main destinations for Ethiopian coffee because of its population size and the growing coffee drinking habits, Debela says.

"Very recently countries like China, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates are coming to the front line, after consumers in those countries tested and proved that Ethiopian coffee is an organic one."

Amid the growing demand for Ethiopian coffee in China, a growing number of Ethiopian coffee growers and exporters are vying to penetrate the market.

Israel Degefa, chief executive officer of Kerchanshe Trading, the largest producer and exporter of coffee in Ethiopia, agrees with Debela on China's rosy prospects for Ethiopian coffee exporters.

"In general, the Chinese market is growing every year, and we are tripling our export to China both in volume of coffee and value. The demand is high, and we are preparing to grow more coffee to feed the Chinese market."

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Ethiopia, which is known as the origin of Arabica coffee, is recognized worldwide for its rich coffee quality, variety of flavors and aroma, making demand for the commodity increase globally.

For Degefa, the rising demand for Ethiopian coffee in China has to do with a cultural shift.

"I think there is a cultural shift among the Chinese people. The new generation is adapting to drinking tea and coffee concurrently."

Temesgen Cherkos, export manager of Hadeed Trading Private Limited Company, says his company is making increasing shipments of coffee to China.

"We have been sending coffee to China for two years now. … We make shipments of at least 10 containers of coffee to China every month."

There are about 5 million coffee growers in Ethiopia, and more than 25 million people in the country make a living by producing or processing coffee. Coffee accounts for up to 30 percent of Ethiopia's export revenue, the coffee and tea authority says.

However, only 12 percent of Ethiopian coffee exports command the highest price in the international market, partly because of a lack of modern technology, it says.

Arabica coffee is highly vulnerable to changing climatic conditions, especially desert weather that poses a threat to coffee production, the authority says.


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