Coffee Story: Ethiopia Available Now, Needed Now



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It’s a big day for me today. It’s the day Coffee Story Ethiopia comes out, and moreover it is the day I get to thank everyone who has helped support and create this amazing project. We’ve done it.

This morning a friend asked me to write her a note about why I wrote this book– where did this passion come from? she asked. This is what I told her:

Amaro Mountains, EthiopiaI was drawn to write about coffee because I saw the impact of writing about adventure and climbing in Ethiopia– and moreover I saw people’s responses to a thicker and more complicated way to understand Ethiopia. Climbing was something my team and I brought to Ethiopia in 2007 (ie the technical systems, difficulty, etc); coffee is something that is Ethiopia.

I believe all of us want to understand things more and feel more connected vis a vis an understanding that is not intellectual but is rather guttural– we want to care. I saw these connections with writing and speaking about the adventure in Ethiopia and saw interest even further piqued when I would talk about coffee. And then I got it: One tenth more understanding about Ethiopia coffee could change the economic reality for a country that is trying its damnedest to no longer be one of the poorest in the world. How could I not create conversation to further that?

Announcing Coffee Story Ethiopia: A Tale From The Country Where Coffee Began.

Ato Sha'le Bokal in Sidamo

Ato Sha’le Bokal in Sidamo

It’s the twenty-first century and Ethiopia, in the global consciousness, is fighting to shed its history of drought, famine, and war. It’s doing so by embracing the heritage and potential of its defining crop: coffee, a plant first accounted for in legend more than three thousand years ago that now ranks among the world’s ten most-valued commodities. Coffee Story: Ethiopia is the recounting of that process: a visual and narrative tale of opportunity, resources, education, and tradition.

Written by Majka Burhardt | Photography by Travis Horn and Helmut Horn | Published by Ninety Plus Press (USA) and Shama Books (Ethiopia) | 208 Pages | Full Color | Hardcover


We Need a Conversation Beyond Famine– Right Now

Lake Tena, Ethiopia

Lake Tena, Ethiopia

Today’s famine news is horrific: 3.6 million people in the Horn of Africa are at risk of starvation. What is even more horrific, however, is the impact of that news on the future identity of countries that make up the Horn. I’ve been privileged to be part of a different conversation about possibility in Ethiopia via my work in coffee. It does not stop here.  We need to increase our dialog today and address the reality of the drought and famine alongside a discussion about what is working in the region. It’s not naive. It’s necessary.  Join the conversation here on my blog: The Liminal Line.

*It’s your choice how you buy Coffee Story Ethiopia. If you purchase the book directly, $3 of every purchase is donated to innovative non-profits and you have the option of signed and inscribed copies. An Amazon purchase supports our sales statistic there. Either way, it’s up to you. Thank you for contributing to this amazing conversation of possibility in the Horn of Africa.


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