The Mayor of Addis Ababa is another of Erez Coffee’s flagship flavors. One of the only places where coffee grows natively, coffee cultivation and consumption in Ethiopia dates back nearly one thousand years. Legend holds that a local sheep herder discovered the bean when he noticed his flock chewing mysterious berries that made them hyper and alert. When he ate these berries, he experienced a similar sensation and brought the beans back to his monastery where they were roasted and mixed with water. Over the centuries coffee became an integral part of Ethiopian culture. Intricate ritual ceremonies were created around the serving and drinking of coffee that are still practiced today.
Ethiopia’s coffee originates in the plateaus of the south-west of the country. These elevated plateaus create and give rise to tablelands and mountains, creating the Ethiopian Highlands. The coffee grown in these Highlands has a high level of genetic variety, most likely due to the varied production methods used by the locals of each mountain range. The genetic diversity of its coffee is one of Ethiopia’s most impressive agricultural achievements. These Highland coffees are unique in their bold flavors and aromatics. Though they share a fruity flavor, the level of berry, chocolate and citrus aromas vary between bean types.
Ethiopia has the distinguished honor of being the only country in Africa that has never been successfully colonized by a European power. This means that its coffee production has remained by and large controlled by local officials. While successfully staving off foreign invaders, Ethiopia has had continued conflict with its neighbor, Eritrea. Eritrea first gained independence from Ethiopia after a civil war that raged from 1974-1991. War broke out again between the newly independent Eritrea and its erstwhile kin in 1997. This war lasted 2 years and resulted in nearly 100,00 deaths. The war greatly disrupted Ethiopia’s coffee production, causing long-term damage to coffee farms and farmers. 2003 saw the price of coffee in Ethiopia plummet to its lowest level in history and many farmers were forced to abandon their coffee farms in search of work elsewhere. Since then, the remaining coffee farmers have had to compete with large corporations who have bought massive tracts of land, outselling local farmers. Fair trade agreements have only recently begun helping local farmers recover their share of the profits and make sure they are being compensated fairly.
At Erez Coffee we are proud to honor Ethiopia as the coffee cradle of the world with our Mayor of Addis Ababa blend.