Heirloom’ coffees  – Enjoy delicious historic flavors

When trying to capture the essence of Ethiopian coffees, Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, a Chicago based US coffee roasting company, cites the American dancer, Isadora Duncan (1877-1927):

“No, I can’t explain the dance to you. If I could tell you what it meant, there would be no point in dancing it.”

‘That’s just the way it is: we simply don’t have a vocabulary capable of capturing the emotional intensity and profound soulfulness of great music, art, dance or Ethiopian coffee.’ here

Coffea arabica has been growing wild in Ethiopia for centuries. Typica is considered to be the oldest variety of the arabica species. It had been discovered in the mountainous Kaffa region, in south-western Ethiopia. Many coffee varieties, which are now growing around the world, are descended directly from the Typica plant.

Kafa region

Kafa is filled with exceptional natural treasures and also the home of the country’s last surviving evergreen cloud forests. To ensure the protection and conservation of Ethiopia’s remaining wild forests and the natural beauty of the land, Kafa had been admitted by the UNESCO into the world network of biosphere, in June 2010.

The different varieties of the Coffea arabica plant are all special in their own way. Each variety affects the taste of the final coffee drink based on their unique characteristics.

However, many coffee lovers are drawn to Ethiopia’s ancient, untouched ‘Heirloom’ coffee plants because they want to experience a piece of history and connect with something grander. Ethiopian ‘Heirloom’ coffees are authentic and meaningful plants. For thousands of years they are growing – as nature intended it – in a rich, volcanic soil, in wild forests. They are harvested based on unique local traditions.

After all, coffee also tells the story of places and people. In the book, Edible Memory, Jennifer A. Jordan, professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, points out that the stories of people, places and soils play a huge part of the ‘Heirloom’ plants appeal. In Jordan’s point of view, ‘Heirlooms’ allow us to taste a piece of history. According to her, we are keeping the past alive by consuming and cultivating the delicious heritage of historic flavors.

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