Did you know that it is widely believed that coffee was ‘invented’ in Ethiopia? The story goes that a goatherd called Kaldi noticed that when his goats ate the berries of a certain bush, they started jumping around. In fact, when I lived in Japan there was a chain of shops which sold coffee that had the name ‘Kaldi’.
So, I am always especially excited to try coffees from Ethiopia. All the more so when there is a brilliant story behind the coffee, like with this one.
The Oromo Coffee Company (OCC) is a social enterprise that trades in high quality Ethiopian coffees, providing a fair deal for farmers and providing training and work opportunities for Oromo people (people originally from the Oromia Region of Ethiopia) in the UK. The coffee, both Fair-trade and organic, comes directly from smallholder farmer cooperatives in Ethiopia.
Oromo people set up, own, and manage the company. Teshome helps run the OCC. He explains:
“We came to the UK as refugees in 2008 with the United Nations Gateway project. We didn’t want to go to the job centre or take benefits. We wanted to get training and skills ourselves… So we tried to explain to people; our friends, local people, people in the local church. We discussed things with them and came up with the idea of starting a coffee company.”
An amazing story and I couldn’t wait to try the fruits of their labour. I tried the Limu coffee, a type that was new to me:
It was described as an ‘after dinner’ coffee and as soon as I tasted it, I could see why. It was beautifully rich, strong without being bitter, full of flavour and it left me wanting more- all in all a real treat. I brewed it in my stove-top Moka.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and please check out their website to learn more about this inspiring story.