Embassy celebrates International Coffee Day

2 Oct 2020

Every year on 1st October, International Coffee Day is celebrated to promote coffee as the world’s most beloved beverage, and to show appreciation for all the people around the world who work hard to bring it to us, including farmers, roasters, baristas and coffee shop owners. It is also an opportunity to promote sustainable coffee practices and to raise awareness of the plight of coffee growers.

…Ethiopian Cup of Excellence

This year, the Embassy kicked off celebrations by paying a visit to Queens of Mayfair, a coffee shop in London that is serving one of the rarest and finest brews in the world – the Ethiopian Cup of Excellence Coffee.

The coffee shop recently made headlines across the world for serving the Ethiopian Cup of Excellence coffee, which retails at £50 for one serving, making it the most expensive cup of coffee in the UK!

Ambassador Teferi and the Business Diplomacy Team were one of the lucky few to try the coffee.

Ambassador Teferi and Mrs Workaferahu Aklilu from the Business Diplomacy Department sample the coffee

The coffee is graded a 91/95 and has undergone rigorous tasting and testing. It is expertly weighed to the gram, ground by hand and then brewed in a v60 filter and enjoyed in a crystal wine glass. The flavour develops and intensifies as the coffee cools and is light, fruity and floral in flavour.

Co-owner of Queens of Mayfair, Victoria Sheppard states “we pride ourselves on the finest produce throughout our menu at Queens of Mayfair, to have such a rare and highly sought-after coffee to offer the true connoisseur highlights the standards we are aiming for”.

Queens of Mayfair was opened by sisters Grace and Victoria Sheppard in August 2020 (Courtesy of Queens of Mayfair)

Difference Coffee Co, an artisan UK roaster which supplies Queens of Mayfair, was one of only two UK companies invited to buy the coffee at auction in June – the other company being Harrods.

Owner of Difference Coffee, Amir Gehl said “We are extremely excited to continue our collaboration with Queens of Mayfair in terms of pushing the boundaries of what is possible in terms of quality and by showcasing one of the world’s best certified coffees. Not only is it an incredible and rare commodity it is also making a difference to the farmers in Ethiopia”.

The exclusive batch of the Ethiopian coffee, which won first place at the Cup of Excellence competition, retails for up to £2,000 per kilogram and the farmer receives full auction price, making the coffee truly fairtrade.

The farmer in question is Nigussie Gemeda Mude, who grows his crop in a three-hectare area of the Sidama region of Ethiopia and had a limited haul of 270kg. Queens of Mayfair managed to get 225g of his beans, which is equivalent to 15 cups of coffee.

Nigussie Gemeda Mude, who took home the Cup of Excellence grand prize and sold his coffee at international auction for $185 USD per pound – that’s 15,000ETB a kg.

Speaking exclusively to the Embassy, Victoria Sheppard, co-Founder of the coffee shop, which she started with her sister Grace, said the Ethiopian coffee was so popular that they have managed to get their hands on a limited quantity.

…coffee is the green gold

At an award ceremony on 24th September in Addis Ababa, Nigussie Gemeda Mude, the Cup of Excellence Ethiopia competition winner received his record-breaking cheque from the sale of his Sidama coffee from the Minister of Agriculture, H.E. Oumer Hussein.

The Minister said, “Quality deserves recognition. For the first time in Ethiopia’s coffee history our farmers sold 1kg coffee for $407. This year’s Cup of Excellence has surely put our coffee on the map. Thank you to our development partners and all those involved in the coffee market chain specially our farmers…This is why we call coffee green gold.”

….Embassy staff celebrate International Coffee Day

Meanwhile, diplomats and staff at the Embassy celebrated International Coffee Day with a traditional coffee ceremony, in the presence of our guests of honour Victoria Sheppard (Queens of Mayfair) and Enrico Molino (Difference Coffee Co).

The coffee for the ceremony was provided by ETHIOCOFFEE Importers and Distributors.

Coverage of International Coffee Day celebrations will be available on our YouTube page soon. Subscribe at www.youtube.com/EthioEmbassyUK.

…A taste of Ethiopia in the Great British Bake Off tent

Viewers of popular British show, The Great British Bake Off, got a little taste of Ethiopia on 29th September.

One of the show’s contestants, Mark Lutton, from Liverpool, paid homage to Ethiopia with a biscuit creation featuring the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony for his showstopper.

In a social media post, Mark said:

“Some people are asking about the inspiration for my showstopper. I’ve visited Ethiopia a few times for work, and have been fortunate enough to experience traditional coffee ceremonies.”

Referring to the strong coffee flavour while tasting the creation, Paul Hollywood, one of the show’s judges said, “I really like the coffee flavour.” To which Prue Leith, the other judge said, “It will keep you up all night, Paul!”

Watch the “Biscuit Week” episode on Channel 4 On Demand at http://bit.ly/GBBOxETH. 

…Ethiopian coffee ranked the best in the world

In related news, Ethiopia was ranked the best coffee country in the world by hundreds of professional coffee tasters.

This is according to data from 1,229 coffees from around the world that were harvested from 2010 to 2018 and graded by professional tasters certified by the Coffee Quality Institute – a non-profit organisation that works internationally to improve the quality of coffee and the lives of the people who produce it.

The chart shows where coffees from the top 16 countries fell on the grading scale, with a maximum score of 100. Each coffee is represented by a dot.

Coffees from Ethiopia fell higher on the scale than those from any other country with an average score of 84.88.

Two other African nations, Kenya and Uganda, rounded out the podium.

The chart excludes the coffee-growing regions that had fewer than 20 coffees graded.

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