The history of Ethiopian coffee traces back to the discovery of coffee itself. Legend tells of an Ethiopian man named Kaldi, who in 450 AD brewed the first cup of coffee when noticing how energetic his goats were after eating the bright berries. To say that coffee has been an integral part of Ethiopian culture would be an understatement. Coffee plays a central role in fostering community, represented by the coffee ceremony that takes place every day in Ethiopian households around the world. The coffee ceremony remains a key moment in daily life, preserved as a tradition for over a thousand years.
We’ve been steeped in the culture of Ethiopian coffee for the entirety of our lives. As young girls, tradition guided how we would sift through the hand-picked beans alongside siblings or cousins, and even the order in which freshly-brewed cups would be served to family elders and guests. Every step of the ceremony is ladened with history -- roasting the beans on a traditional iron skillet, stirring away the husks, grinding the beans by hand, and straining the coffee multiple times -- our hands repeating the movements perfected by countless generations that preceded us.
As we came into adolescence, we became privy to more than just the performative element of the coffee ceremony. Sitting with other women over the roasting beans and wafting frankincense, our understanding of this heritage deepened beyond an appreciation for the mechanics of coffee making: we began to realize that one of the many reasons the ceremony has been a vital part of Ethiopian daily life for so long lies not only in its function as an artful act of celebration and hospitality, but also in its role as a form of impromptu group therapy among women who often had no other outlet. The coffee ceremony was, above all, an opportunity to engage in and receive mutual support: a time to share, to laugh, to cry, and connect with the people around you. It became evident to us as young Ethiopian women that underlying the mechanics of coffee-making was the beautiful and continuous process of building community.
Today we honor our heritage by continuing its legacy. We aim not only to provide you with the uniquely rich scents and taste of Ethiopian coffee, but to also imbue into each batch the sense of community and connectedness that has kept this tradition alive since its nascence. In working with artists from a wide range of disciplines and cultural backgrounds, we hope to foster and expand upon that tradition of connection by nurturing the formation of an intimate community of creatives.