Ethiopia Coffee Lands – Road Dust and Deep Ruts

Notes from the road, traveling through the Ethiopia coffee lands in 2018

Traveling through the southern coffee lands this year was exciting and taxing at the same time. Picking our way between potholes and stray goats, there’s really no straight line between Point A and B. Despite a lot of road improvement projects finally coming to completion, this is a huge area of ground to cover, and it’s still a rough ride many Kms to the farms. I’m beat.

Dan and myself saw coffee harvest in full swing though, with washing stations and drying beds near capacity, and occasionally over it. We visited nearly all the stations we bought from last year and some pretty exciting new locations too. “Very highland coffee,” as our friend and travel buddy Mubarak says. And by that he usually means 2200+ meters!

We headed to the west after a couple Addis Ababa coffee cupping days, and out to the birthplace of coffee, the forests of Kaffa. (Noting that the claim to “birthplace” is hotly contested here. A week ago there was near riot in Kaffa when claims of a different origin near Jimma town came to light.) Likely coffee came from a broad swath of forest though so both origins might be true. Who was there to say otherwise?)

Here’s some pics of what we did, what we saw, and about 50% is actually about coffee. Well, for me the context matters, so in that regard it’s all about coffee. And cars, and motorcycles, and monkeys and …. – T.O.

(PS- the banner photo is a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor about coffee tourism, fyi)

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