I never used to be much of a coffee drinker. Sure, I would get the occasional sugary over-flavored mocha from Starbucks every once in awhile, but coffee wasn’t something I looked forward to in the morning or even gave a second thought about craving. That started to change for me on my first trip to Ethiopia in 2009. I was exposed to the most delicious macchiatos in the world. Plus, it’s customary to add a few tablespoons of sugar for your little tiny cup and we all know that certainly can’t hurt the enjoyment level.
[caption id="attachment_1492" align="aligncenter" width="395" caption="my first ever Ethiopian macchiato"][/caption]
The story goes that Ethiopia is the birth place of coffee. In one of the “chain” coffee shops, Kaldi’s (by the way, when you visit Kaldi’s – and most likely, you WILL – you MUST try their French toast. ohmygoodness.), in Ethiopia, the story of the how coffee was discovered.
The following is a rendition of this…don’t judge me…from Wikipedia. I know, it’s not always the most reliable source (although that doesn’t stop me from checking it when I’m looking for tidbits of information), but it is similar to the story I read while in Kaldi’s.
“Another story involves a goat-herd, Kaldi, who, noticing the energizing effects when his flock nibbled on the bright red berries of a certain bush, chewed on the fruit himself. His exhilaration prompted him to bring the berries to a Muslim holy man in a nearby monastery. But the holy man disapproved of their use and threw them into the fire, from which an enticing aroma billowed and the holy men came. The roasted beans were quickly raked from the embers, ground up, and dissolved in hot water, yielding the world's first cup of coffee. The Ethiopian ancestors of today's Oromo tribe, were the first to have recognized the energizing effect of the native coffee plant.”
So now, I guess I could be considered a coffee snob. I thoroughly enjoy a cup of Ethiopian coffee, fair trade, of course. We prefer the coffee from the Harrar region and we purchase all our coffee from Just Love Coffee, a company founded by adoptive parents who sell fair trade coffee from around the world and help support fundraising efforts and an orphanage in Ethiopia, along with Charity:Water.
Another piece of advice: do yourself a favor - after you’ve had your fair share of macchiatos, try some tea, WITH spices. MMMMM good, and I don’t like tea, either!
[caption id="attachment_1493" align="aligncenter" width="378" caption="it does not get more authentic than this. ethiopian tea."][/caption]
How much do you rely on your coffee to get you through the day?