Monday, May 25, 2009

Real coffee!

Evan and I have made some Ethiopian friends via the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society's host family program. It has been quite the adventure, having to explain the quirks of one's culture really makes you think... 'yeah, why DO we do that?'. We asked Haile, the head of the family, what was the strangest thing he had come across, and he said it was seeing ads for apartments that said, 'no kids, pets ok'. That completely mystified him. And now that I think about it, yep that's weird.

Anyhoo I digress. A significant result of our new found friendship is that it has ruined me for regular coffee. Coffee is a major part of social interactions in Ethiopian culture. There is a ceremony involved in drinking coffee together, and everyone drinks three shots that have a ton of sugar in them. It's an afternoon ritual; they think it's strange that we drink coffee in the morning. Genet, Haile's wife, roasts the green beans herself over a burner in a pot, or has one of the children roast it. Because of the smoke alarms in their place (a feature of Canadian life they find VERY annoying..), they roast it on the back stoop. Usually Eyob does. Picture a 13 year old boy, wearing shorts, rubber boots, and a ski jacket, roasting coffee in the snow. That was the scene this winter...

The coffee is amazing, sometimes Genet grinds it with some cardamom or cloves. Out of this world. And it is beautifully smooth, no bitter bite at the end. There really is no comparison to pre-roasted beans. I've been wondering how to roast my own without ruining a pot or setting off the smoke alarm, and then I found this post, which recommends using an air popcorn popper. AHA! a solution. now I just need to track down some green beans, a feat in itself..


Lesley said...

This sounds deliciously fantastic!

I am now craving coffee at 4:15pm.

meli-mello said...

Until recently - for obvious reasons - I never noticed how many rental places said "under 18 not allowed". Our landlord has been thinking of selling our place for a while & I really hope it isn't in the next year b/c I don't relish the thought of having to find a place that will take children.

Eric said...

if you wanna get your hands on amazing green coffee (perhaps even green beans from ethiopia) then go and inquire over at Phil and Sebastian's in the calgary farmer's market. they are bringing in direct trade coffee and roasting it themselves. i can't guarantee you success, but i can guarantee you that they'll have the best raw coffee in the city.

btw, direct trade is a step above and beyond fair trade - ask them at P&S's, they'll tell you all about it. the most ethical coffee product around anywhere.

nicole said...

We have a friend who just started roasting his own beans...I'll ask him about it and find out what he uses.

PS: word verification today is bundog!