Ethiopia’s Backyard

There’s not one adult that doesn’t appreciate at least the smell of a great cup of coffee. From the time that the bag of beans are shaken, all the way to the moment the steam rises from the cup to your nose; the amount of pleasure, calm, and even nostalgia that coffee can provide, is nothing short of amazing. But it’s not until we step out our comfort zone, or perhaps, just explore our passion or love for it, that we discover hidden treasures beyond what our eyes can see. The relationship that the human race has with coffee starts as far back as the 10th century, perhaps further. The genesis, of course, beginning in the rugged ancient country of Ethiopia.

As an American, I didn’t have to travel far before stumbling upon an authentic java experience with Ethiopian coffee. Instead of reading about the history, or tradition of Ethiopian coffee brewing, I, instead, experienced it. And quite the experience it was.
This all began in “Walia Restaurant” in Orange, New Jersey. As dinner concluded, and the merriment of our delicious entrees began to come to a close, the sizzling noise of a black skillet was brought out as a native Ethiopian woman displayed a smoke-releasing pan full of the most aromatic green coffee beans. As she surrounded my table of friends, she explained her countries tradition of brewing coffee. Explaining how roasting the beans from the time they’re picked, to the point of reaching the fortunate persons cup, was a lengthy and enjoyable process. From the bean reaching the prime color and aroma, to grinding the bean with a mortar and pestle, (yes, that’s right, by hand) to the final moment of pouring, was great to watch.

Of course, not all of this was done table side, but you can imagine the amount of anticipation for a great cup of coffee along with dessert caused the patrons to wonder just how many types of wonderful coffee traditions could there be?

The answer lies in the willingness to travel. And most times, you don’t have to travel far from your front door. Finding each destinations distinct culture of preparing coffee will leave you in expectation.

For the next cup of coffee we’ll go to, it’ll be:

Bakersfield, California


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