Ethiopia was the only place where coffee grew originally; it is the source of all coffee we enjoy today. The country is now the top producer of coffee in Africa. They only sell about half of what they produce, using the rest for their enjoyment.
Coffee from Ethiopia is thought to taste so good because all the work is done by hand and the crop is grown organically. The people work very hard on the land and in processing facilities but they do not make much money. Organizations committed to fair trade are helping farmers get better deals.
Understanding Ethiopian Coffee: Virgacheffe, Harrar Coffee Beans, Sidamo Coffee
You may have heard of different Ethiopian coffee beans and been confused. Are they just different types of beans or is there more to it? Well, if you know of a particular Ethiopian coffee, you usually know of a coffee produced in a particular region. For example, harrar coffee beans are produced in the Harrar region. Sidamo coffee is grown in Sidamo and includes yirgacheffe coffee and guji coffee.
Enjoying the Moment: the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
If you visit Ethiopia, count yourself lucky if you are invited to participate in a coffee ceremony. This is an important part of social life and a mark of hospitality, so feel honoured and enjoy a unique ceremony celebrating a drink you may sometimes take for granted. The entire ceremony can take several hours and involves drinking at least three cups. Through the coffee ceremony, often gone through three times a day, the spirit is said to be transformed.
Traditionally, women conduct the ceremony, roasting the coffee beans then grinding them with pestle and mortar. The coffee is made by boiling the grounds with hot water. It is strained and served in small cups to everyone who has gathered. Everyone chats and catches up on what’s going on while sipping the delicious brew.