Coffee Story: Ethiopia | The Book
A Food Crop. Its Nation. Their New Future.
Coffee Story: Ethiopia , A Tale from the Country Where Coffee Began
It’s all here, and more: the Ethiopian story. Coffee Story: Ethiopia carries us into the heart of the land where coffee originated, with all its glory, mystery, contradiction, and potential.Mark Pendergrast, author, Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World
It’s the twenty-first century and Ethiopia, in the global consciousness, is shedding 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 and 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.
Author Majka Burhardt’s prose weaves its way into the fabric of the Ethiopian coffee story with precision, humility, and curiosity. The result is both informative and illuminating. Ethiopia’s coffee story unfolds through photos, vignettes, and extended captions that allow easy entry onto any page. Coffee Story: Ethiopia also transcends the bean itself to explore Ethiopia’s larger landscape and peoples.
With elegant photography by Travis Horn, treasured images from Helmut Horn, and original artwork by illustrator Molly Holmberg, Coffee Story: Ethiopia proves an invaluable addition to the library of the coffee professional, the coffee consumer, and anyone interested in this ancient plant and in exploring Ethiopia’s territories and lore.
A porridge of roasted coffee cherries mixed with butter and salt called Buna Kelema. Multiple, conflicting myths of coffee’s origins. Hallucinogenic chat leaves. How Christians vilified coffee, but then glorified it. How Muslims ritualized coffee, and embraced it. People of wisdom, courtesy, and tradition. Kidnapped girls forced to marry; high infant-mortality rates. Rainforest highlands, barren desert, and agricultural wealth. It’s all here, and more: the Ethiopian story. The coffee maven, adventurer, climber, and anthropologist Majka Burhardt paints vivid word-pictures to accompany Travis and Helmut Horn’s breathtaking photos. Coffee Story: Ethiopia carries us into the heart of the land where coffee originated, with all its glory, mystery, contradiction, and potential.
Mark Pendergrast, author, Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World
Can you imagine a world without coffee? No—it is impossible to do so, because the coffee bean, in the way Majka Burhardt explains, has permanently and irrevocably entered our lives. To understand more about this remarkable bean, you must remember that it originates in mountainous Ethiopia, long regarded as one of the world’s most mysterious countries. Coffee is so vital to us all that it makes this book, the first modern study of the bean, uniquely important—and I recommend the pages herein to anyone in quest of knowledge, enlightenment, and entertainment.
Professor Richard Pankhurst, author, Economic History of Ethiopia (1968) and A Social History of Ethiopia (1990)
Majka spoke at Town Hall Seattle on Sept. 26, 2011. Public radio station, KUOW-FM, was there to record her presentation.
October 2011, as featured on USA Today Travel, Public Radio Exchange, Venture There and Wend Magazine. Produced by The Joy Trip Project.
Photos: James Q Martin