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Backpacker Magazine – November 2013

best coffee “bar” crawl: Simien Mountains Trek, Ethiopia

by: Fiona McIntosh

A local serves coffee in traditional, handless cups out of a jebena. (Wierzbicki)
A local serves coffee in traditional, handless cups out of a jebena. (Wierzbicki)

This one’s for you, java addicts: Take eight days to complete the classic, 93-mile highlands circuit where the standard greeting in each village is “Buna tetu,” or “Let us drink coffee.” You’ll hike from Buyit Ras through fields of bright red-hot pokers, past troops of bleeding heart baboons, and under the 14,000-foot-tall Simien Mountains escarpment to the Ambiko settlement—where coffee brewing assumes ritualistic proportions. The aroma of brazier-roasted beans will fill your nostrils as you watch locals grind beans with a pestle and mortar, pour them into jebenas (traditional vessels), and boil. (Consider extending your tour into Ethiopia’s Golden Triangle, where you’ll spend two weeks hiking past 14th- and 15th-century rock-hewn churches.)

Guide (required) BJ Tours (from $700; bjtoursandtrekking.com)


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Nov 24, 2013

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