Kassegn Sirmollo of Farmer’s Horse Coffee in Boston harnesses coffee to help Ethiopian coffee farmers

By Sandra Larson (Bay State Banner) |

BOSTON, Mass.―“The only thing I know is coffee,” says Kassegn Sirmollo, owner of Farmer’s Horse Coffee, where the brew is made with beans grown in his native Ethiopia.

Kassegn grew up on a southern Ethiopian farm. As a child, at harvest time he loved to sample the coffee trees’ sugar-sweet red “cherry beans” before the green coffee beans were extracted, dried and sorted in preparation for roasting.

His family roasted beans at home, he says. Serving coffee to visitors was an important ritual, with his mother presiding and the children helping.

“If you were a guest in my house, the first thing my mom would do is prepare the ceremony of coffee,” he explains, speaking over the bustle of conversation and music in the cafe on a recent afternoon. “Every kid who grows up in Ethiopia does one of these things to help — you roast, or you grind, or wash the beans, or serve coffee to the guests.”

With Farmer’s Horse, he aims to share Ethiopian coffee and to offer a welcoming vibe for his customers, many of whom are students and faculty at nearby New England Conservatory and Northeastern University or T riders who get on and off at the Mass Ave Station of the Orange Line.

Continue reading this story at Bay State Banner
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