Coffee growing is a trade that is often passed down from one generation to the next . It is a lifestyle and a culture that is rich in heritage. In my case , my love for coffee and it’s craft is ingrained into my DNA. You see, the apple doesn't fall from the tree, I come from generations of coffee farmers and roasters that take great pride in this wonderful plant called coffee. Over the years far away from the coffee forests of Ethiopia, I would discover my own passion for coffee, different from my grandfathers and father but just right for me. There are levels to this and being part of the supply chain was where I felt I could make the most impact.
Growing up in Canada, my fascination with coffee began as a young child listening to my father's countless childhood stories of his time on his family coffee farm, helping his father after returning home from school. As I got older, and to continue cultural traditions my mother would encourage me to watch and participate in pan-roasting green single origin beans sourced directly from our family farm, grind the roasted beans, and prepare the ground coffee in a traditional pot called a jebena. This full coffee ceremony really sprung my love for coffee into full gear.
My pursuit to learn more about my heritage and my late grandfather, a proud coffee farmer, led me to visit our family farm and few other local coffee farms in south west Hararghe, Ethiopia ,where I got to see the process first hand. I also travelled to Jimma, in the Northern Oromia Region formerly the Kaffa province to explore the hand-picked cherry to cup experience. This was a very personal, humbling and unforgettable experience. Getting to speak directly to farmers in their mother tongue Afaan Oromo helped me to understand the full complexities of their work. In 2019, I brought my love for coffee, entrepreneurial experience and career in marketing to build a Fairtrade and Organic certified coffee brand.
What’s up with your name you ask?
Well, coffee was discovered over 1200 years ago and legend has it, a young goat herder from Ethiopia who lived around 850 AD ( hence our name) discovered the first coffee beans ( read more about the legend of Kaldi here). Listening to versions of this tale and a few others from my own family, sparked a curiosity in me to further explore the rich coffee history of my ancestors. An ode to this legend and the birthplace of coffee… Eight50 Coffee was born.
For us, coffee is more than just a cup of caffeine, it's an important part of our heritage that allows us to engage the community, connect to a place, and to build relationships and stories. So whether you're drinking our coffee at 8:50am to start your day or at 8:50pm to start your night , we hope our coffee helps you create your own family or love story.