Dur Feres is Catalyst’s flagship Natural community lot, a coffee developed by fulfil a popular demand and with a heck-ton of nostalgia in mind. Founder and Sourcing Director Michael McIntyre came of age as a coffee person in the early aughts when one of the greatest coffees in the world was Mohamed Ogsady’s famed Harar Horse brand (with its iconic cloth label showing a horse silhouetted against the MAO name). Coffee folks everywhere slip into nostalgia when we mention Harar Horse coffee: its thick blueberry puree and chocolate notes took the world by storm in a time when coffees weren’t as distinguished by origin characteristics as we now expect.
With the death of Mohamed Ogsady and the institution of the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange (ECX), the MAO Horse coffee sadly became a thing of the past. However, in 2016 when Michael set out to create a carefully composed in-country blend of selected lots Grades 1, 2, and 3, from smallholder producers from Bombe, Qonqona, Shantawene, Damo and more. All Sidama producers from the Bensa district, Organic certified. He knew exactly what he was going for: homage to the great coffee and producers that changed so many lives and defined so many palates, including his own. Our Dur Feres, or “Wild Horse” translated from Amharic, was born.
In 2015 we were introduced to Michael and Emily from Catalyst as friends of the Cameroon Boyo project. Back then we always had the idea of working more closely with Ethiopian coffees. We had the chance to follow their work, and after testing out several Ethiopian lots, we decided to import our first container in 2017. The work they achieve with specific washing stations fits in the vision from The Coffee Quest to integrate traceablility, collaboration and quality into the supply chain. Visits to Ethiopia have only confirmed the progress they are making! As direct partners they provide the missing link in terms of cultural understaning and local efforts to provide consistency in quality, with the added bonus of receiving Organic certified lots and crazy honey processed coffees.
The Dur Feres, just as it’s sister Washed coffee, Tsebel, from the families and communities where Catalyst sources there highest quality microlots. Dur Feres has the same level of traceability, is organic certified, and maintains a steady flavor profile which we ourselves curate using coffees from various regions of Ethiopia as they come ripe. This allows us to keep a fresh crop supply always rotating and gives our roasters the assurance that they can build their sourcing programs around having a constant supply of this coffee at the same price and with the same flavor profile they’ve come to expect. Although the Dur Feres is new in the Classic assortment, all sign point to this lot becoming a valuable addition.