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It’s the twenty-first century and Ethiopia, in the global consciousness, is shedding its history of drought, famine, and war. It’s doing so by embracing the heritage and potential of its defining crop, coffee, a plant first accounted for in legend more than three thousand years ago and that now ranks among the world’s ten most-valued commodities. Coffee Story: Ethiopia is the recounting of that process: a visual and narrative tale of opportunity, resources, education, and tradition.
Author Majka Burhardt’s prose weaves its way into the fabric of the Ethiopian coffee story with precision, humility, and curiosity. The result is both informative and illuminating. Coffee Story: Ethiopia is a unique co-venture by US-based Ninety Plus Press and Shama Books, an Ethiopian publishing company. It is thus the only coffee story that is both about and from Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s coffee story unfolds through photos, vignettes, and extended captions that allow easy entry onto any page. Coffee Story: Ethiopia also transcends the bean itself to explore Ethiopia’s larger landscape and peoples.
Coffee Story: Ethiopia features elegant photography by Travis Horn and Helmut Horn, original artwork by illustrator Molly Holmberg, and elucidating guest essays from leaders in the coffee industry. This book proves an invaluable addition to the library of the coffee professional, the coffee consumer, and anyone interested in this ancient plant and in exploring Ethiopia’s territories and lore.
Join us for a book vested in Ethiopian coffee and the specialty coffee industry.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Coffee Story: Ethiopia is the second book by Majka Burhardt, who in 2008 published Vertical Ethiopia: Climbing Toward Possibility in the Horn of Africa (Shama Books). A widely published magazine writer, Ms. Burhardt is a frequent lecturer on the intersection of adventure, culture, and environment, and has worked extensively in Africa examining the overlap among the three realms. Executive Producer of the documentary film Waypoint Namibia (2009), Burhardt also works as a professional climber and AMGA certified rock guide. Her work in Africa has been featured on national news programs and radio shows, and in magazines and newspapers throughout the world. Ms. Burhardt holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, and received her BA in anthropology from Princeton University.
Travis Horn has cultivated a photography career born from a pursuit of “foreign familiarity.” Horn has worked and shot extensively throughout Central and South America, Europe, Africa, and the United States. His work has been showcased by Hyatt International hotels, National Geographic Adventure Magazine, and recently in Miami’s Winward Design District. Horn’s involvement with the specialty- coffee industry has spanned multiple creative endeavors in coffee origin countries including Panama, Costa Rica, and Ethiopia.
Additional images by Helmut Horn, whose photographs of the natural world have been showcased since 1974, including exhibits at the Ansel Adams Gallery, Pebble Beach, CA, and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.
|"It’s a simple question: what if a food crop—coffee—could change a nation’s future?
Here are three more questions: What if that crop was something the world had grown to value starting in the sixth century as a plant, and in the fifteenth century as a brewed infusion? What if an assemblage of stories helped shine a collective light on Ethiopia’s role as the birthplace of coffee, and its centuries of coffee ritual and culture? And what if the sharing of these stories increased an understanding of Ethiopia that in turn helped this long-struggling nation toward economic bounty?
Our task is Herculean; it will take an optimist.
Welcome to the Coffee Story: Ethiopia Speaking Series. I’m that optimist."
Starting in April, 2011, Majka Burhardt is available to lecture in conjunction with the release of Coffee Story: Ethiopia. This tour combines discussions of food anthropology, development, adventure, and the impact of coffee on world politics and global understanding. The Coffee Story: Ethiopia tour offers an opportunity for various civic groups to collaborate on events that demonstrate coffee's reach into daily lives. Download the PDF.
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