Super quiet here following a week of the offspring visiting and bringing their children along for the fun and frolic. It is a major feat to have everyone’s schedules come together in unison, but I’m so glad that they all still make an effort. We ate and ate and ate and along with all that eating there was beverage consumption. Some of that happened at home, and some of it happened around Maine. One constant was that coffee ruled every morning. Usually, this meant making at least two pots.

Because I love coffee so much, it’s hard for me to imagine anyone not loving coffee. Sometimes I think it’s because someone’s exposure hasn’t been made to the right coffee, made the right way.

I respect every component involved in producing the perfect cup from growing to brewing. In previous columns and on my website, I write about how to brew coffee, farm labor, and ways I enjoy drinking coffee. One of my favorite beans is Shakiso, with its indulgent profile of bold and fruity flavor. It is grown in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia.

Ethiopia (originally Abyssenia), the home of Arabica coffee, is a landlocked country within the eastern region of the African continent. It is considered to be the birthplace of coffee and historically produces unique, wild-grown coffee. Ninety-eight percent of the farmers are small scale, using four different systems: forest coffee, garden coffee, and plantation coffee. They have endured intense hardship over the years, but with the advent of Fairtrade, wages for the growers have become more reliable. Although wages for laborers are still in need of being addressed.

Unlike Americans who order “coffee to go” and made to individual order, the only way Ethiopians drink their coffee is seriously and with ceremony as a communal affair. Coffee is never drunk alone.

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