I visited Ethiopia last year and I have to say that our trip was more eventful and interesting than I have ever dreamt of. Meron Tsehaye, Michael Tsehaye, Gary Battell and I brought back some great coffees, some nice Ethiopian gifts and lots and lots of memories.
The weather was good and the hospitality was excellent as we headed south. Coffeehouses are popular meeting places here where men and women gathered to converse, play all types of games, sing and dance, listen to music, discuss the news of the day, and of course drink coffee.The drink had already become ingrained in our daily ritual and culture so going to the source felt like a sort of pilgrimage. Coffee gives us a reason to dream, connect, contemplate and think and it is no different in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia probably consumes more fresh coffee than some of the most advanced countries in the western world. Every household roasts coffee in small amounts on a daily basis.
Meeting the village elders was so inspiring.
Both the coffee and the scenery are stunning.
I made new friends and discovered new coffee origins. We were ambushed at gun point as we left one of the farms we visited and our visit could have turned disastrous if it was not for the good local language knowledge of our driver, the cool headedness of our friends and a lot of luck, but my love for Ethiopia is unchanged. The Ambush lasted about half an hour, mostly silent and surreal. It seemed like hours when you consider the processing power of our brains and how fast we go through our lives in our heads when faced with stressful situations. We were very lucky to get away with nothing more than a faster heart rate and a renewed sense of gratitude to be given another opportunity to support coffee farmers in this amazing country and make coffee buying and selling more of a lifestyle than it already is.