Kenya: A Coffee Powerhouse – Drink Day with Elizabetta Tekeste

By mahir | October 27, 2010

Welcome back coffee drinkers everywhere! This week we’re traveling to the Republic of Kenya, the “place with ostriches (1)” and great coffee. Although late to coffee (cultivation began around 17th century compared to Ethiopia’s start in the 15th century), Kenya is a coffee powerhouse to be reckoned with. From production to processing, Kenya often sets the standard by paying attention to detail along the way to a great bean. Time to go cherry picking!

The Bean:

The rich, acidic soil in the mountains of Kenya produces a version of the Arabica bean that is distinctly different from Ethiopia’s. Read More


How Do Ethiopians and Eritreans Take Their Coffee? Very Seriously! – Drink Day Wednesday with Elizabetta Tekeste

By mahir | October 20, 2010

Last year my friend and I embarked on learning how to properly make ‘bun na adina’ which translated means: coffee from home. Sounds simple enough right?

Well, where we come from coffee is a celebration and ritual that takes hours to perform and years to perfect.

The Bean:

Before I describe the beauty that is the coffee ceremony from Ethiopia and Eritrea I want to briefly touch upon the bean that made coffee famous; the Arabica bean. The Arabica bean produces some of the best coffee in the world and often fetches the highest market prices due to intensive growing and processing costs. This bean is indigenous to Ethiopia and more specifically the Kaffa region although strains now grow along the equator as far away as Central and South America. It grows best at high altitudes with warm climates and 60-80 inches of annual rainfall. The abundance of sunlight in Ethiopia (13 months to be exact![1]) and rich soil yield a bean that is balanced with a good amount of acidity and notes of blueberry, citrus and chocolate.

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A Berry Tale – Drink Day with Elizabetta Tekeste

By mahir | October 12, 2010

Hello everyone, I hope you enjoyed the series on tea as much as I did. We’re now moving into coffee. I won’t commit to a 4 part series here because this series can go indefinitely!

I am from a small country in the Horn of Africa called Eritrea. Less than 20 years ago it was part of Ethiopia. And it is from this part of the world that coffee was discovered and dispersed throughout the world. So this beverage is dear to my heart and heritage!

The myth goes:

A goat herder by the name of Kaldi discovered the energizing effect of the coffee plant in the hills of Ethiopia when one day his goats began chewing on the red berries and then became ‘jumping goats’.

He took the beans to a holy man who disapproved of the beans and threw them into a fire. The beans let out an aroma the goat herder could not resist. He collected the roasted beans from the embers, ground them up and added them to hot water.

The world had its first cup of coffee!

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White Tea Recipe – Drink Day Wednesday with Elizabetta

By mahir | October 6, 2010

Hello everyone! This week concludes our four part series on tea. I think it’s fitting that we leave the tea with the most benefits of all (yes even more than green tea) till the end. It’s teatime!

White Tea:

White tea comes from the Camilla Sinensis plant and like the green tea is not left to oxidize, instead it is picked when it’s young and is sun dried or steam dried.  This drying process retains more of the antioxidants arguably making it the most beneficial off all teas. Although still caffeinated it has considerably less caffeine then black and green tea.

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Drink Day Wednesday with Elizabetta Tekeste – Green Tea Latte

By mahir | September 22, 2010

I hope you’ve enjoyed a week’s worth of chai since we communicated last. This week we’re going green!

Green Tea:

Globally, green tea is consumed more than any other tea. The least processed of all teas, the Camilla Sinensis leaves are treated to a light steaming until just before the leaves begin to ferment or change color. The leaves are then dried resulting in green loose leaf.

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Drink Day Wednesday with Elizabetta Tekeste – Black Tea

By mahir | September 15, 2010

This week begins the first of a series focusing on teas. Each week I’ll be looking at a specific variety of tea and in doing so I welcome any great stories you want to share about your love for tea and recipes that have been collecting dust in your cupboard. Let’s fade to black!

Black Tea:

The most popular and traditional of teas in the West, black tea is a staple. From Southern- style sweet tea in the United States to the traditional ‘cuppa’ in England, black tea is all the rage with more exciting blends than ever before. Recently it was discovered that black tea is packed with as many antioxidants as green tea making it a great alternative for people who don’t enjoy the grassy taste of green tea.

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Contributor Elizabetta Tekeste – Drink Day Wednesday, Rwanda Cup of Excellence

By mahir | September 8, 2010

Our Wednesday contributor is Elizabetta Tekeste. She’ll be posting every Wednesday as our Drink Day, Wednesday contributor.

Elizabetta’s passion for food is only surpassed by her passion for holistic eating and lifestyle. Born and raised in Bologna, the gastronomic capital of Italy, Elizabetta has been exposed to lovingly prepared, seasonal and homemade dishes since childhood. After living in Canada, Eritrea, England and now calling New York City home – she has turned her love of food and beverages into a career. In 2009 she opened a coffee shop in Brooklyn that made the New York Times list for best coffee shops in NYC after only 5 short months. Her sound knowledge in beverages also encompasses a wealth of knowledge about Italian wines. Coupled with her experience on the floor (from server to manager at some notable restaurants)- she is now moving into a new facet of her career in the culinary arts which will include creating and contributing.

First Up, Rwanda! I recently came across an article that stated that coffee from Latin America was far superior to coffee from Africa. Knowing from my own personal experience that coffee production methods had improved dramatically from the often misunderstood and misperceived continent I made it my mission to look for evidence to the contrary. Here’s what I found

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