In November, we are travelling to what is considered to be the motherland of coffee, Ethiopia. The country has an unrivalled coffee history, with more than 1,000 years of cultivating coffee and Ethiopian coffee is often regarded as the best in the world.
Coffee is key to the country’s economy, making up over half of its export income, and is celebrated by the locals through beautiful customs and ceremonies. Women dressed in traditional festive clothing would roast the coffee beans over open fire, filling the air with a delicious aroma. The beans are then pounded by hand to a course grind, brewed in a delicate metal coffee pot and served in small, brightly painted bowls. This coffee ceremony is considered an honour, and is regularly bestowed upon guests and neighbours.
More than any other country, Ethiopia produces a wide diversity of coffee varietals and each area in the country can yield a different taste profile. Ethiopia is known for its fruitiness and this month’s coffee from the Limu district in the south of the country is no exception. Limu coffee is thought to rival the better known Ethiopian Yirgacheffe due to its clean and complex floral profile, with strong citrus flavours and notes of cocoa. This month’s coffee is called ‘Konjo’, a very fitting name as it means ‘beautiful’ in the local language.