The Man Bringing Ethiopian Coffee Culture to London

Yared Markos, known locally as ‘Markos’, opened Kaffa Coffee in Dalston, London, after finding authentic Ethiopian coffee in London. He believed there was something missing culturally in the country, and he set up the shop in 2004 despite having no support and living in temporary accommodation.

Kaffa Coffee is a bustling spot among locals, proudly showcasing his family’s heritage and Ethiopian artefacts scattered throughout the establishment. The shop serves traditional Ethiopian food alongside coffee, regularly hosting community events like traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, live music, and parties, and holding a special reservation every Sunday for those in need of food.

Markos uses wild beans to roast his own coffee blend, and coffee historian, author, and podcast host Jonathan Morris said that understanding the bean’s past has greatly enhanced his experience of the drink. He believes that knowing where it comes from and how it arrives and its history can make coffee more interesting and appreciate it more.

Markos hopes to share his culture with as much of London as possible, and the coffee he roasts and sells in Dalston is ethically sourced from Ethiopia. He has a family coffee farm in Ethiopia, which is organic, wild coffee, and is an extension of the community. Markos supports the surrounding village by buying essential equipment like water pumps and tools needed for coffee production.

He hopes to continue “blending culture through coffee” for many years to come, as coffee is not just food but a way of life. “Coffee is not just food,” he said, “it’s like human petrol.”

Read More @ BBC

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