African Coffee History and Tasting

Jason Dominy at the Michael Carlos Museum at Emory University.
Jason Dominy at the Michael Carlos Museum, Emory University.

Chandler Rentz and I recently had the opportunity to lead an African Coffee History and Tasting at the Michael Carlos Museum at Emory University, here in Atlanta. I led the attendees through a history of coffee in Africa, the impact Africa has on the coffee market today, and the impact coffee has for the African people. We also talked about how important coffee is to the economic stability of Africa. I was also able to show a video of an Ethiopian coffee ceremony, and had the privilege of having a young lady from Ethiopia in attendance, who walked everyone through the process as it was being shown on the video! It was a great treat, to say the least.

Attendees at the African Coffee Tasting.
Attendees at the African Coffee Tasting.
We had lots of attendees, and some were students at Emory from lots of different countries like France, Italy, Brazil, and of course, Ethiopia. We had a great time of questions and answers, and attendees really appreciated the laid-back format of the lab. At the end of the informational section, I led participants through a sampling of our Kenya, followed by our washed and natural processed Ethiopia Yirgacheffe coffees. I spoke of how coffees will not only be affected in taste by where they’re grown, like between the Kenya and Ethiopian coffee, but even differences in processing, as shown by the difference between the washed and natural processed Yirgacheffe.

This was as part of the museum’s African Art and Religion exhibit going on now, and is the first of a series of coffee-infused labs we’re going to do there. We’ll be looking at the coffees of Central and Latin America next there. We’re also going to be hosting an Ethiopian Coffee and Culture night at the Roastery in May. The young lady that walked us through the coffee ceremony in the African Coffee Tasting will be demonstrating the Ethiopian coffee ceremony, and we’re going to get a view into the culture and community of Ethiopia, as well as drinking some delicious Ethiopian coffee.

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