Monday Music: The morning cuppa

My morning cuppa. I don't usually have flowers though, they were a birthday bonus.

My morning cuppa. I don’t usually have flowers though, they were a birthday bonus.

I love coffee. I’m thoroughly addicted. Every morning at work I make myself a single cup to kick-start my day. It’s very good. Nutty and rich, even when brewed in a plunger. Fair Trade, of course.

All of my in-laws in Ghana being cocoa farmers, I’m committed to buying Fair Trade as much as possible. Not only coffee and chocolate, I buy ethically-sourced toothbrushes and recently purchased a gorgeous green suede handbag from Oxfam. If you’re in a position to spend a little more on your day-to-day needs, you can buy almost anything from undies to footballs without trampling human rights or wrecking the planet.

I mention all this because yesterday was the last day of Fair Trade Fortnight in Australia. It’s a time to draw attention to the inequalities caused by free trade, and the benefits of equitable, or fair trade. So I’m going to draw your attention to some wonderful music from the country where coffee originated. But first, warm your cup.

Ethiopia is still one of the top 5 coffee-producing countries of the world. As you can see, it’s still an important part of the culture. African music festivals in Australia also often feature Ethiopian coffee, ceremonially prepared.

Australia’s fortunate to have another Ethiopian export in Dereb Desalegn. Dubbed ‘The Ambassador’, Dereb’s music gets his audiences jumping like coffee beans in a roasting pan. If you want to check him out, he’s playing Perisher and Sydney in June.

Hmmm … full-bodied with some cheeky undertones.

Here’s a bold and lively blend: Ethiopia’s GiGi, mixing it up with North Indian Sufi music Tabla Beat Science.

It’s true that Indian flavours dominate, but Ethiopian hints of caramel add sweetness to  this aromatic fusion. (Sorry, getting carried away. Coffee descriptions don’t really have to make sense, do they?)

And finally, going back in time to the first Ethiopian musician I ever heard, world-famous Aster Aweke. I first heard her in the 1980s and she is still going strong.

Lusciously smooth, expressively earthy, a hint of spice, she definitely lingers on the palate. I’m going to have another cup.

I do bang on a bit about Fair Trade on this blog. You can read my other blog posts on the subject here.





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