Day 110 Ethiopia : Gorgora

I wish you could have been with us and experienced the coffee ceremony that Ililta and Sentiou prepared for us.  The ceremony begins with the green coffee beans being washed a_SG103887.  Once the coffee beans are clean, they are roasted on a flat plate resembling a wok a_SG103891  a_SG103909  and whilst this is happening, fragrant bark is placed on coals and an incense stick lit and suddenly you are enveloped by smells of bergamot, sandalwood, freshly cut grass and hot roasted coffee a_SG103933 a_SG103922

Traditionally 3 cups of coffee are served from the freshly roasted beans with the 1st being very strong.  Despite this, the coffee is so incredibly mellow that there is no bitterness to it, just full roasted flavour.  Incredible.  The 2nd cup was my favourite still having strength but more subtle and the 3rd cup light and mellow but the freshly roasted coffee flavour still so cleara_SG103944  a_SG103955

It was a very special day for us.

And still now the coffee culture that is ingrained into Ethiopian life is surprising to us.  Although it shouldn't be.  But on every corner, on every street and in even the smallest villages, coffee, and it outstrips Starbucks and every coffee shop you can think of, is served to everyone - locals and visitors alike.  And in the larger towns like Gonder, the coffee shops are serving machiattos, espressos, cappuccinos and the most incredible cakes and pastries.  We shouldn't be surprised, but we are.

#1 gill on 8.08.2009 at 7:55 AM

Hi Trev and Jan

You are both looking so well and relaxed. I have missed reading your blog sooo much but the wait has been worth it. It actually brought tears to my eyes reading about all the fantastic experiences you have had in Ethiopia and I have to be honest, I was a "tad" bothered about you travelling through the country, for what reason I honestly can't tell you, but its quite obvious to me it must be from reading all the "crap" printed in the newspapers. I keep telling Eben I am going to stop buying them, but I guess its habitual especially on a Sunday morning. We are off to Cornwall camping next Saturday - it sounds so pathetic when I read about your travels (lol), but we have never ventured down that side of England and I have heard it is quite beautiful. I just want to have a swim in the "proper" sea with waves that may go further up than my knee (lol). Jethro has gone on holiday with his friend and parents to France and Spain for two weeks - lucky boy. Boy but the house is so quiet. He gets back the night before we leave so has had a good time these holidays. The weather here seems to have calmed down now so lets hope it holds out for us. Its been really humid in the south for a few days now and we had one heck of a "tropical" like storm on Thursday night - the rain was absolutely fantastic. Not these pitiful ongoing droplets of rain but rain like we got in Durban before the flying ants. The smell afterwards was quite amazing - I suppose thats an African smelll that will stay with us. We are no longer going to Durban in March as Eben's nephew is getting married in July so it makes sense to postpone our trip until then. Well thats all the news from our end. Keep well and lots of love. Gill Eben and Boys