Monday, October 2, 2023

The Weeknd Partners With Blue Bottle to Celebrate Ethiopian Coffee and Culture


The Weeknd has teamed up with Blue Bottle Coffee for a new “partnership with purpose.” Samra Origins pays homage to Ethiopia’s coffee, traditions, and family.

Blue Bottle Coffee, a global leader in specialty coffee, has announced a unique collaboration with multi-platinum recording artist Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye and his record label, XO.

The partnership sees the creation of Samra Origins, a brand and product line that showcases Ethiopian culture and excellence in coffee. Named in honor of The Weeknd’s mother, Samra, Samra Origins also seeks to honor the family’s Ethiopian heritage while supporting global hunger relief through a donation to The Weeknd’s XO Humanitarian Fund.

“Ethiopian culture is an important part of my identity and I’m proud to work alongside the Blue Bottle Coffee team to shine a light on Ethiopian traditions, values, and of course, coffee,” Tesfaye said in a statement.

Courtesy Samra Origins

“Growing up, I watched my mother perform Buna Tetu, a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. This sensory experience helped shape my understanding of community and taught me to always honor my roots. Samra Origins is a true passion project that I hope will inspire curiosity and encourage support for Ethiopia’s people, while also spreading the warmth and friendship so ingrained in Ethiopian culture,” he said.

Blue Bottle has been sourcing select coffees from Ethiopia for more than 20 years and continues to maintain strong partnerships with premium farms in the region. Karl Strovink, CEO of Blue Bottle Coffee, acknowledged the significance of Ethiopian coffee, stating that it “is truly in a class of its own” and holds a special place in the Blue Bottle community. “I’m excited that we’re extending our commitment there with Samra Origins so we can continue to share the best of Ethiopian coffee and support our network of producers in the country,” Strovink said.

Ethiopia is known as the birthplace of coffee; its high mountains, cool climate, and shaded forest canopies provide ideal conditions for growing high-quality beans. But the country, like other coffee-growing regions of the world, is facing increasing challenges from climate change, deforestation, and habitat loss.

The partnership between Blue Bottle Coffee and The Weeknd highlights a mutual commitment to preserving traditions and supporting communities in need. As part of The Weeknd’s humanitarian efforts, Blue Bottle will donate to the XO Humanitarian Fund, administered by World Food Program USA. The fund supports emergency operations in hunger hotspots worldwide, with a particular focus on Ethiopia, where an estimated 20 million people require urgent humanitarian food assistance.

Samra Origins will debut with a limited release of Exceedingly Rare Ethiopia Wolde Faye Koricha COE #7, which will be available exclusively online at the Samra Origins website starting May 9, 2023. This single-origin coffee upholds centuries of Ethiopian coffee farming traditions and has been recognized by the prestigious Ethiopia Cup of Excellence (COE) for its unique processing method and distinct flavor profile.

Coffee Samra Origins
Courtesy Samra Origins

Additionally, The Weeknd, Samra, and Blue Bottle’s Head of Innovation & Quality, Benjamin Brewer, have developed the first Samra Origins blend. This blend, which will debut in Summer 2023, has been carefully crafted using some of the finest Ethiopian coffees. It will be available for purchase online and in select Blue Bottle cafes in the US, where it will also be offered as a cold brew.

Strovink emphasized the importance of giving back, stating that Samra Origins honors Blue Bottle’s longstanding commitment to caring for communities around the globe. Barron Segar, President and CEO of World Food Program USA, also expressed gratitude for the partnership, noting the critical role of private sector partners like Blue Bottle Coffee in generating public awareness and funding to save millions of people on the brink of starvation.

According ot Barron Segar, President and CEO of World Food Program USA, private sector partners like Blue Bottle Coffee are “critical in generating both public awareness and funding to save the 43 million people on the brink of starvation across 51 countries.”

“Samra Origins honors our longstanding commitment to caring for communities around the globe,” said Strovink. “We jumped at the opportunity to work with The Weeknd because his advocacy with the World Food Program inspires us to continue lifting up communities in need and highlighting their incredible work.”

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