The smell of fresh coffee wafts into my nostrils: they flare sympathetically in response, drawing deeply on that comforting aroma, reviving Ethiopia memories with each intake. As we cut through the shopping mall car park, Davies' Coffee trailer has a quartet of waiting customers this early morning. I won't succumb to the temptation, as there will be more of that delicious aroma percolating through the pedestrian railway underpass, from the coffee hole-in-the-wall on the Paraparaumu railway platform. Waiting commuters clutch their discardable cups, fortifying themselves for the hour long trip to their cubicles- if there isn't another delay or breakdown on the lines. On those mornings, I just manage to avoid sarcastic grins at the hundreds of frustrated commuters as we wander past them on our 20 minute walk to my workshop. Thank goodness I don't have to join the throng of commuters. Dragging my dog Lilly's nose out of the bush where she's been exploring doggie smells, we head on over to my workshop where I can make my own special percolator brew. Almost looks as good as Davie's. But better, much better as it's made from coffee we brought home from Ethiopia.
|Coffee beans on tree at Lake Tana, Ethiopia.|
Coffee these days, brings back memories of our time in Ethiopia, the primary home of the coffee plant, , Coffee Arabica , from where it spread to Yemen then throughout cultures around the world. Little wonder the Italians had to invade Ethiopia- some people would die for a great coffee! After they got kicked out, their parting legacy was found in an aromatic concoction called Machiato- fresh roasted, ground and brewed in front of you, served in a small glass or cup with hot milk floated on top. Fantastic. But order a double shot - one small glass is just not enough. You can afford it- a serving may cost you 40cents US.
Ploughshare Women's Skill Centre.
We had breakfasted early, and were on the road by 8am heading towards Gondar, ancient capital, and home of romantic castles and palaces. But first a stop at the Women's Ploughshare Trust project. This is a live-in training organisation funded by Government, and donations, to train women in skills they can use to earn a living in their villages.
After being shown the various sewing, weaving and pottery studios, we were treated to a full coffee ceremony in the meeting building. Traditionally, coffee or bunna (boo-na) service is a ceremony as much to honour you as a guest, as it is to serve it at its best to bring out the maximum aroma and flavour. The meeting room was thatched roof, with sticks herringbone patterned around the sides, but very airy and cool. Once again the coffee beans were roasted carefully, and ground in a wooden mortar ( mukecha) using a heavy metal pestle, then steeped in a pottery coffee jug called a jebena. We were served in small china cups.
|No, that calf has not broken out of a large egg- it's some sort of broken ornamentation now used as a water trough.|