Ethiopia! Birthplace of Coffee
By Alan Jarrett
Coffee legend claims Ethiopia as the land where coffee was first cultivated and discovered. A goatherd named Kaldi is said to have eaten some, or observed his goats acting very frisky after eating some of the red berries. There has been little to prove this as more than legend.
Monks in Ethiopia are said to have brewed the berries after first throwing them into the fire as "devil's work!" As the monastery filled with the heavenly aroma of roasting beans, they were raked from the fire and crushed to extinguish the embers. The remains of the crushed beans were placed in hot water to supposedly preserve their goodness. The Monks drank the brew throughout the night, and a legend was born.
Ethiopia is Africa's major exporter of Arabica coffee beans, and this is still the only variety grown there. Arabica accounts for over 70% of the World's coffee, and is grown in many countries around the World. Over 12 million people depend on Ethiopia's coffee industry.
The Ethiopian Coffee Export Enterprise controls approximately 50% of the coffee in the country. The focus is on quality products such as premium blends, organics varieties, and original unblended coffees from the plantations or farms where they are grown.
There are some special varieties in Ethiopia such as the Longberry, grown at the highest altitude in the region of Harar. This variety is the most popular, and has a winey flavor with a slight acidity. And it has been witnessed by many that an aroma of blueberry can be noted when roasting.
Another comes from the Southern Region from an area known as Sidamo. Washed Yirgacheffes beans are very popular from this region as are the Limmu, which are lighter in body and less earthy than dry processed varieties.
The Ethiopian coffees are unique in their flavor and character, and are some of the most highly quoted, washed Arabica beans on the international market. With close ties to the Yemen Mocha, it must not be subjected to a high temperature roast to preserve it's character. A strong flavor yet mild acidity make these beans a great choice for the coffee connoisseur.
Alan is a charter member of the "Boomer" generation, a Viet Nam veteran, seasoned business owner, grandfather on 10 and lives in Florida with his wife of 37 years. He enjoys building and riding recumbent bikes, playing racquetball, writing, and talking to anything that does not move fast enough! The twinkle in his eye is a combination of the sun, an active sense of humor and a positive mental attitude that grows stronger by the minute.
Alan has always had a desire to find a way to lift up and encourage others without being a counselor, doctor or preacher. The phenomena created by the movie, the Secret, has provided such an opportunity.
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