One of our favorite eTec building mates stopped by one morning with a kilo of coffee in hand. He sure knows a way to our hearts. Little did we know of the journey it had taken to reach our office! Below, Mark Ragel shares the story of this amazing coffee and its travels from the highlands of Ethiopia to the mugs of our team!
I met the Bayouni family early in 1976, shortly after I arrived to take up my post as Manager of Administrative Data Processing at the University of Petroleum & Minerals (now named ‘King Fahad University of Petroleum & Minerals or KFUPM) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
The family had emigrated to he Eastern Provence of Saudi Arabia from Yemen in the mid-1960s during a previous Yemeni civil war and had generations of experience in the coffee business in Yemen prior to their arrival in Saudi.
I had moved to KFUPM from Miami where I had been on the founding staff of the Southeast Regional Data Center which supported the new Florida International University as well as Florida Atlantic University at Boca Raton.
In Miami, I developed quite a fondness for ‘Cuban Coffee’ which is a very dark roast coffee. As a consequence, my initial purchase was Bayouni’s ‘Ethiopian dark’; it was love at first sip. For the next 30+ years, I drank their coffee. When I returned to the US I usually brought a couple of kg of coffee with me and made coffee for friends and family while visiting. The most frequent reaction to the first taste was, “I think that’s the best coffee I ever drank”. I still think so.
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