Thursday, April 05, 2007


(March 16, 2007: Addis Ababa.)

To help me deal with a headache which might have been altitude-related, but more likely due to caffeine-withdrawal, Kassahun took me to a coffee house in Addis. There I was suddenly confronted with choices quite unlike the choices I was used to at Tim Horton's (small/medium/large; regular/double-double....etc.). No! Here there were washed and unwashed coffee beans of several varieties, green or roasted...I'm not even sure which variety I had in the end, but I suspect it might have been Yirgacheffe. It arrived, black as I'd requested, in a small handle-less cup. Somewhat bitter, very strong, it had the most amazing lingering delicate floral berry-like aftertaste. What was I thinking?? I should have sampled more of the coffees!

Read about the Ethiopian origins of coffee.
It is a lovely experience to be invited for buna, the Ethiopian coffee ceremony, a social event that may happen as often as three times a day. Not to be rushed, it is a sensory delight on many levels. You just have to love a society with proverbs such as : "coffee and love taste best when hot!"
Support the rights of Ethiopian coffee farmers. Read more about Oxfam America's campaign to help coffee farmers enjoy a more fair share of the profits.



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