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Addis’s best cafés

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Ethiopia is coffee’s birthplace, it is said and Ethiopians take their coffee seriously. From the elaborate “coffee ceremony” in towns and villages up and down the country, to the sipping a macchiato with the Sunday papers in one of the capital’s many cafes, coffee is ever present. Many of Addis residents have favorite haunts – most of them small cafes, which are located around the corner from their apartment or workplace, where coffee is prepared in a jebena or long-necked pot, usually conducted by one young woman, dressed in the traditional Ethiopian costume of a white dress, – and nothing will make you feel local like finding one of your own. But in the meantime, here’s a selection of notable spots that place a particular emphasis on the ambiance and the quality of the coffee.

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Tomoca

This seriously small and sophisticated cafe on Wavel Street is seriously appealing.Beans are roasted on-site and when pulled just right, the shots are intense, drinkable on their own or excellent in a cappuccino. Addis Ababans and visitors alike know it as the coffee shop to go to. The patrons said that they started roasting their beans in 1953 in order to take coffee into their own hands and today produces seven different roasts from Harrar, Yirgachefee, Sidamo, Limu, and others.
Off Churchill Road, on the same road as Book World

Harar coffee

Harar coffee (Mokarar Coffee Roaster)
The coffee shop, located on Belay Zeleke Rd, is famous for serving pour-over style, plus the atmosphere of a true, down-to-earth coffee shop. It has been in existence since 1944 at different location, with bigger space around Tewedros Square. The current shop is modest, it could easily be missed yet when you find it the reward is high. Quality is constant, price lower than with other inflated coffee houses.
Located in Piazza, few hundred meters from Saint George Church on Semien Hotel Road (Dejazmach Belay Zeleke Street), just up from Giorgis.

choche

Café Choche
Café Choche is a relative baby compared to some of the shops on the list, as it officially opened in July 2011. Yet the coffee shop has taken the city by storm for its dedication to coffee. Nestled at the far end of the historical railway building at La Gare bus station, Choche coffee is earthy and complex, and sourced from farms that maintain sustainable practices. The place has been created by Rahel Zewdie-Sleeuwagen, who comes from choche, a small town 45kms from Jimma, and who has returned to Ethiopia after 18 years abroad. More than the coffee and food, it’s that neighborly atmosphere, not to mention the outdoor seating amid colorful flowers and the inside wall lined with old black and white photos of Addis through the years.

On the left side of La Gare Station,

Robera

Robera Coffee Gallery
This is a cozy spot for a perfectly brewed cup of coffee which has been operating for the past 20 years. The beans are roasted daily in the big roaster out front, filling the air with irresistible aromas, and are brewed by trained baristas.
On the main road of Gerji coming from CMC road, Sahelete Maryam Church (close to the Mexican Embassy).

  1. Jp Herr
    May 11, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Fantastic article and superb pictures. Very impressive! No trip to Ethiopia is complete without visit to Addis’s coffee shops such as Tomoca.

  2. Daniel
    May 11, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Thanks for the recommendations. I happen to know one of the establishments, Harar Coffee and do not agree with your views on its coffee. It may be great neighborhood haunts, it neither serves an incredible cup of coffee.

  3. December 20, 2013 at 7:16 am

    To.Mo.Ca. is no longer providing other kinds of roasting but its “family” one which is roasted and packed in their new factory. No more in the shop!
    The glass windows in the shop with the names of various roasting are only a decoy to cheat customers!
    You should clearly state it on this page. Otherwise, you’re giving misleading information!

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