Legend has it that the first time a human being tried a cup of coffee was some many centuries ago in the lands that now compound Ethiopia. That person was a young shepherd named Kaldi keen on playing the flute while herding his goats.
However, his goats began to behave strangely after eating a fruit of a small shrub. Kaldi imitated them. And there started the first tastes of coffee seeds. So it is not surprising that the most special place to have a cup of coffee is precisely Ethiopia. Especially if we follow, step by step, the long ritual that has been practiced in this country for centuries.
The ceremony is usually accomplished by a woman wearing a traditional white dress who meticulously prepares the utensils to make coffee on freshly cut ceremonial herbs while the incense aroma envelops the audience. As explained in Happy, Lonely Planet’s travel guide:
First the green coffee beans are washed and roasted until they begin to crackle, open and change color. As the host grinds them and prepares the coffee, the beans give off a wonderful aroma. Once done, the coffee is served with care in a jebena with a long spout. The etiquette requires guests to drink three cups; the third, called baraka, invokes a blessing.
Coffee is one of the most complex foods on the planet, its history is fascinating and it has changed policies and economies, as well as fostered intellectual revolutions, as the Age of Reason or the Enlightenment. That is why having it in Ethiopia is like drinking a vivifying concoction of history.
In addition, these lands are the Rift Valley, at that time the called cradle of humanity, where we have found the highest concentrations of past human fossils.
So the place where coffee was born is also the place where the human being was born. The ideal place to stimulate your 10,000 taste buds and, by extension, the rest of your senses.