To the majority of people working in the coffee industry, a visit to Ethiopia is high on the bucket list! Recently both Mary & John from Mahers Pure Coffee had the opportunity to experience this amazing country and the trip certainly lived up to its expectations. Ethiopia is where Coffea arabica, the coffee plant, originates. We are delighted to be able to share some of their trip with you!
Spending the first day in Addis Ababa (2,400 metres above sea level), Ethiopia's capital city, we were escorted by Dagi of YA Coffee, to the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange. All coffees pass through here as a control and it has its own grading system which identifies commercial to speciality grade coffee beans in nine different divisions. Coffee growing falls into four different categories: Wild Forest coffee, Farm Forest, Small Holdings, and Commercial.
20% of agricultural land in Ethiopia is used for coffee, from which 30% of GDP is achieved from its sale. The sector employs 13 million people.
We were entertained to lunch at YA Café, and Dagi gave us an understanding of the industry. One highlight is the "Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony". This involves the brewing of a dark-roasted, finely-ground coffee in a 'Jabenna' (a closed, round, spouted pot) to create a thick, strong and bitter brew.