Coffee and the Coffee Ceremony

Ethiopian coffee is legendary - in reputation and in tradition. According to folklore, it was discovered by an Ethiopian goat-herder named Kaldi, whose name has been eternalized by the most popular chain of coffee cafés in Ethiopia, “Kaldi’s Coffee.” Kaldi noticed that when his goats ate the berries of a certain kind of bush, they became more energetic. This prompted Kaldi to test out the beans himself, and when he felt the vitality that the beans gave him, he instantly knew that he had made an important discovery. 

Today, coffee beans are one of the major exports of Ethiopia - constituting around 30% of Ethiopia’s annual export revenue, almost 1/4 of the population depends on the coffee trade as its source of income. Farmers have cultivated coffee  using the same methods for hundreds of years; the work is still done almost exclusively by hand. In certain regions of Ethiopia, coffee cultivation dominates the landscape and you can drive for miles through nothing but coffee-land. Ethiopia grows a few different of varieties of coffee: Sidamo, Harar, Limu, and Yirgacheffe, all named after the region they are primarily grown in.

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