Barista Magazine

DEC 2018 - JAN 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 19 of 107

Your Two New Favorite Ethiopian Coffee Books One Ethiopian coffee book just isn't enough. Thankfully, then, two fantastic resources about coffee from this storied growing country have recently been released: Coffee Atlas of Ethiopia, a comprehensive reference book published by the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in the U.K., written by the plant- resources research team led by Dr. Aaron P. Davis; and Counter Culture Coffee's easy-reading volume A Reference to Ethiopian Coffee Varieties, written by former CCC head of coffee Timothy B. Hill and current CCC East Africa supply-chain manager Getu Bekele. Both books explore the vast history of coffee in Ethiopia, but through a slightly different lens and on a different scope. Atlas reports on years of extensive field work and research into wild Arabica varieties, as well as conveys and forecasts the overall health and transformation of Ethiopia's coffee landscape as it shifts along with the climate and consumption. More scientific in nature and language, it is an incredibly informative and significant read for anyone who is invested—financially, politically, culturally, and/or emotionally—in Ethiopia as both a growing region and a global neighbor. The Reference book, while also impressive in its dense but concise content, is the result of two years' focused work by Tim and Getu, who set out to unravel some of the common misconceptions, misunderstandings, and mysteries surrounding coffee professionals' understanding of Ethiopian coffee varieties and cultivars. (In other words, it's not all simply "heirloom.") "At every turn there's a new leaf, a new understanding, and a history that we thought we knew fully— but in reality, we haven't even scratched the surface," Tim says. Respect for Womxn In Coffee Not long ago, Colorado Springs, Colo.–based barista Brittney Balestra was thumbing through a local newspaper when she came across a list of people nominated for best barista in the area. At the end, she says, "My heart felt like it fell out of my chest." The list was entirely composed of men. She recalls being "both angry and hurt." Rather than flounder in resentment, however, Brittney decided to create the change she sought, and launched the Womxn in Coffee Awards, which invited locals to vote for their favorite baristas. Brittney asked that voters elect a barista who "represents and furthers the coffee culture in Colorado Springs, shows an outstanding effort to build a pathway enabling women to build careers in coffee, actively exhibits a community attitude, shows a professionalism and passion for their craft, and consistently makes an effort to enhance their coffee knowledge and build further into coffee." Brittney's employer, Third Space Coffee owner Rowland Smith, invited Brittney to host the event at the café and help however he could. "My intention with this movement was to create a message, to get people thinking, and to create a change even if it was only a few steps at a time," Brittney says. "I had no clue it would blow up this big in such a short time, but I have had countless individuals reach out to me asking how they could help and offering up anything they could to aid the cause." Rise Up! The struggling Puerto Rican coffee community got a big-time boost recently with the announcement of a multimillion-dollar, five-year initiative to get the battered industry back on its feet, thanks to none other than the Pulitzer-, Tony-, Grammy-, and Emmy-winning creator of the musical Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda. In the fall of 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated the island, killing almost 3,000 people and decimating the coffee-producing region in the central highlands of the island. On a recent visit to Puerto Rico, Lin-Manuel visited the still-devastated landscape along with coffee producers trying to rebuild their family estates. "You would never think you would see winter come to Puerto Rico, but that's what it looked like," he said. Lin-Manuel, whose family hails from Vega Alta on the north side of the island, says he will be closely involved throughout the efforts. "Coffee has been a part of Puerto Rico's rich culture and heritage for generations," he said. Lin-Manuel is starring in a run of Hamilton in San Juan in January, wherein he will reprise the eponymous role, with the proceeds going to other recovery efforts. What are you taking away from our awesome coffee world right now? Let us know about cool trends, fun gear, killer drinks, events, places, people—you get the idea! Email ILLUSTRATION BY JOE KILLIAN 20 barista magazine

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