Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ethiopian Coffee

One thing I've learned about since we've been working through our adoption paperwork and educating ourselves about Ethiopia is their coffee.  Ethiopia is where coffee was first cultivated.  According to national folklore, the origin of coffee is firmly rooted in Ethiopia's history. Their most popular legend concerns the goat herder from Kaffa, where the plants still grow wild in the forest hills. After discovering his goats to be excited, almost dancing on their hind legs, he noticed a few mangled branches of the coffee plant which was hung with bright red berries. He tried the berries himself and rushed home to his wife who told him that he must tell the monks. The monks tossed the sinful drug into the flames, an action soon to be followed by the smell we are all so familiar with now. They crushed the beans, raked them out of the fire, and distilled the stimulating substance in boiling water. Within minutes the monastery filled with the heavenly aroma of roasting beans, and the other monks gathered to investigate. After sitting up all night, they found a renewed energy to their holy devotions.

There is a local coffee shop called Kaldi's here in the STL area that sells Ethiopian coffee.  We thought it would be a fun gift for our parents at Christmas, so we got them a small bag of beans and a coffee grinder.  We got the same for ourselves - or for me rather, since James doesn't care for coffee.  It is very good.  It had no bitter taste, no bite.  I usually end up dumping a lot of flavored creamer in coffee to hide the bitterness, but I don't need it with this coffee.  I like to put just a small amount of milk in it.  It smells so good too! Kaldi's does sell bags of these bean online.  A 12 ounce bag of whole beans is $9.49.


  1. What an interesting post! I've been a "lover of coffee" for many years and never knew this story. I'll have to get Fay to fix me a cup of her coffee one day.

  2. I hadn't heard of it until recently. Coffee is their largest export. It is typically served with popcorn. I love coffee, and I love popcorn, but it has never occurred to me to have them together! I don't think I'd like it.