What Limu has to do with coffee.

Many believe that Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee (not South America, which some believe). The indigenous coffee trees (which some experts say, are the only native coffee trees in the world) first grew in ancient "Abyssinia," which is now present day Ethiopia. These trees blossomed in an area called "Kafa," which may as well be the root word for coffee. In the tenth century, coffee was considered a food.

Ethiopia's coffees are exported either as "washed" or "sun dried/natural". There are nine distinct coffee growing regions in Ethiopia. Lekempti, Illubabor, Djimma, Harrar, Teppi/Bebeka, Sidamo, Yirgacheffe, and Limu. Limu coffee (washed) grows to the South-West of Ethiopia between 3600-6200 ft. Limu coffee is renowned for its good cup, sweet, spicy/winey flavor and balanced body and is therefore sought after by many roasters, especially in Europe and the USA. Washed Limu coffee is one of the premium gourmet coffees in the world. The bean is medium size, has a distinctive rounded shape and green color.

The Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

In Ethiopia an invitation to join in a coffee ceremony is considered a mark of friendship or respect. The beans are roasted in a flat pan over a tiny charcoal stove and the strong tasting coffee is served in tiny cups with a lot of sugar and no milk. During this tradition the male elder is always served first, out of respect, and three rounds of coffee are served. "Yebuna kourse" (popcorn or bread) is made to be passed with the coffee. The youngest child is summoned to stand ready to bring a cup of coffee to the eldest in the room as well as to all others, thus connecting all generations.

Gracefully pouring a thin stream of coffee into each little cup from a height of one foot without interruption requires years of practice. If the cups are placed properly wen the pouring commences, they will ring overjoyed, in being filled with this heavy elixir. Sugar may be added or in the countryside, salt. Holding the little heated cup requires finger dexterity and reminds us of the Ethiopian proverb. "Coffee and love taste best when hot."

 
Coffee ceremonies also play other special roles. Coffee time, more than just an ordinary coffee break, symbolizes an important get-together of family members
 
Copyright 2006, Limu Coffee