Addis Abeba’s cafe culture stretches across all walks of life. At any time of day, the City’s cafes are teeming with customers who stop in between appointments, or even conduct business over a cup of coffee. Lingering for a morning over a newspaper rented or bought from wandering vendors and speaking to friends is a popular way to spend time for both locals and tourists in Addis.
“I have been a customer from the beginning. The coffee here has a special taste,” says Daniel Gebremaryam, a customer at Abyssinia Coffee. “The space is wider and you can spend a long time over coffee than in other places.”
Abyssinia Coffee began exporting coffee in 1990, and opened a coffee shop in Addis two years ago. So far, it operates in two locations. “We process coffee for the local market, which is sold in our café, after being ground and packaged,” explained Abiy Demise, export Manager. “But we do not get the standard of coffee that we want because the government does not allow the use of export standard coffee locally..”
Lately there has been a boom in the number of coffee shop chains spreading across the city. They include Kaldi’s Cafe, Bilo’s, and Abyssinia Coffee. The majority of these coffee shop chains also sell processed coffee which has been roasted and ground on both the local and international markets.
“The 25 years of experience that we have in the sector will help us to be competitive in the coffee market, which will help generate foreign currency,” says Andamlak Ashenafi, Abyssinia’s coffee sales manager. Even though Abyssinia does not export their coffee, it has found a significant demand on the local market, and amongst tourists in Addis.