by Ryan Trinidad
In Seattle particularly, coffee is a major part of the city culture. But in reality Starbucks coffee flavors are heavily influenced from Ethiopian coffee, buna. And the culture in Seattle is based from faceless days and endless nights. Here in Ethiopia, it is a little different. Buna is served mainly after a meal, and balances a calming palette after a plate of injera. Or in most cases, buna is made in front of guests to welcome them into your home. The smoke from the grilled beans fills the room and creates an amazing aroma. Served alongside popcorn and other breads, buna is a perfect way to welcome guests and create conversation.
After checking into our hotel, we ventured to another side of the capitol to see where Addis Abeba was created and named. Queen Taytu, wife of famous Ethiopian King Menelik II, founded Addis Abeba and gave the town its name. Addis Abeba translates to “fresh or new flower,” Taytu thought of just that when naming the new kingdom. She traveled to the highest point of what is now Addis Abeba, looked around her, and pointed to where her new palace would be built, and gave the town its name. We walked in this area through terrain, and down to a holy church at the bottom of the hill. As we walked closer to the church, we had to be barefoot. Myself and Daniel Nguyen had the honor of being showered with holy water, an experience I will never forget.