Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee. Not only the birthplace of coffee, but some of the world’s best coffees come from Ethiopia. The country is steeped in coffee culture with the coffee ceremony being the most prevalent.
The coffee ceremony is an integral part of the social and cultural life of Ethiopians. The beans are roasted over an open fire in a flat pan by the woman of the house. She is dressed in a traditional white dress with colorful borders. As the coffee roasts, the aroma released from the beans fills the air. When the beans are roasted guests are allowed to smell the beans. The beans are ground using a mortar and pestle. Once ground, the beans are placed with water in a clay pot known as a “Jebena” and brought to a boil. The coffee is then strained into cups on a tray. The oldest guests are served first. Sugar or salt is added to the coffee, never cream. The coffee is served with popcorn or peanuts.
Our Ethiopian Sidamo is produced by the Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union Ltd. (OCFCU). OCFCU was founded by 35 small certified organic cooperatives in 1999. The farmers from the small co-operatives are located in the Oromia State in southwestern Ethiopia. The farmers are indigenous with small family farms averaging five to six acres. Today there are 311 small co-operatives with 288,201 small holder farmers. 70% of the OCFCU profits are returned to the small holder co-operatives and 70% of the small holder co-operatives profits are returned to the farmers. Funds from the OCFCU and partner exporters and roasters have allowed OCFCU to make improvements in education, health, water development, transportation, coffee processing, agro industry and warehousing. For more information, visit: http://www.oromiacoffeeunion.org.