Tracing Coffee’s Roots: From Ethiopian Highlands to Global Tables

Tracing Coffee’s Roots: From Ethiopian Highlands to Global Tables

Coffee, a universally cherished elixir, graces countless morning rituals worldwide. Yet, have you ever pondered its origins and its epic journey from Ethiopia’s lush highlands to becoming a global staple?

Our tale starts amidst the verdant terrains of Ethiopia. Legend speaks of a shepherd named Kaldi who stumbled upon the invigorating properties of the coffee plant. Observing the spirited frolic of his goats post munching on some vibrant red berries, Kaldi’s curiosity was piqued. Sampling them, he too felt an exhilarating surge of energy. He introduced these berries to the local monks.

Scriptural Sayings on Coffee Cups
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Scriptural Sayings on Coffee Cups

Coffee cups adorned with biblical verses have emerged as a trendy means for individuals to convey their spiritual convictions and principles. Such inscriptions act as faith-filled touchstones, offering solace and motivation during hectic times.

One frequently cited verse on these mugs is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” This scriptural quote reassures us that, regardless of life’s obstacles, Christ’s strength and might are ever-present to guide us through.

Mountain Vistas on Coffee Cups

Mountain Vistas on Coffee Cups

The union of coffee mugs and mountain imagery has stood the test of time. For generations, mountain enthusiasts have adorned their mugs with these majestic landscapes, celebrating the splendor and grandeur of Mother Nature.

Tracing back to the early 19th century, the tradition began when intrepid explorers returned with tales and sketches from their mountainous escapades. Early coffee mugs were graced with simple monochromatic outlines of these towering ranges, capturing the imagination of those enthralled by the raw allure of the wilderness.

Racing in North Carolina

Racing in North Carolina

I raced a 10 mile Time Trial on July 23rd at Lowes Speedway. I finished 2nd in the Cat 4 group with a time of 21 minutes and 24 seconds. This was also good enough for 17th overall. So I felt like my fitness was pretty good. This weekend was a big race weekend in Charlotte. There were Criteriums Thursday-Sunday around the area. There was also a Team TimeTrial on Thursday.

Cackalacky Cup 2010 – The Legs Fell OFF!

Cackalacky Cup 2010 – The Legs Fell OFF!

This past weekend was the Cackalacky Cup held at Lake Norman State Park. Charlotte Sports Cycling hosts on a Mountain Bike Time trail on the Itusi and Mombo trails. The first TT is on the Itusi loop with some man made obstacles (a skinny, limbo and cones). If you were to fall off the skinny, not clear the limbo or knock over a cone, you were assessed a time penalty.

Race 3 – 2011 North Mecklenburg Cyclocross Series

Race 3 – 2011 North Mecklenburg Cyclocross Series

Proper cyclocross weather finally came to the Carolinas for the last round of the North Meck Cyclocross Series on Tuesday night. Racers were challenged with a wet, windy course and temperatures in the high 30’s.  Afternoon rain tapered off before registration opened, but the course got slick and muddy as the night went on.  Promoter Neal Boyd setup a slightly less technical course for the conditions, and DeFeet provided some nice prizes for the final round podium finishers.

Race 1 – 2011 North Mecklenburg Cyclocross Series

Race 1 – 2011 North Mecklenburg Cyclocross Series

The North Meck Cyclocross Series kicked off Tuesday night in Huntersville with great weather and a fast dry course for the opening round.  For the fourth year of this USAC sanctioned training series, promoter Neal Boyd used a similar course setup from previous years- featuring traditional barriers, wooden stair- step run-ups, and a short gravel section near one of the softball fields.  The course winds through several flat grassy areas, but takes advantage of some sidehills and off-camber sections as well.  North Meck Park has lights for the softball and soccer fields, and the course is well-lit for night racing.

Race 2 – 2011 North Mecklenburg Cyclocross Series

Race 2 – 2011 North Mecklenburg Cyclocross Series

Charlotte area racers were treated to a tight, technical course for round 2 of the North Meck Cyclocross Series on Tuesday night.  The race management crew from Charlotte Sports Cycling added a spiral section, several off-camber turns, and reversed the course direction from last week- providing a good challenge and a much different feel from last week’s course. 

2011 Ion Smack Down – Charleston, South Carolina

2011 Ion Smack Down – Charleston, South Carolina

I headed to Charleston, SC for a weekend of criterium racing.  I left on Friday, April 15th after going for a 25 mile ride in Mooresville.  We arrived in Charleston around 6:30 and Leah and Neal arrived shortly thereafter.   We all went to dinner and celebrated Neal’s birthdays. 

I woke up early (5AM) Saturday morning to help Neal set up the crit course. We arrived at the venue around 5:45AM and started unloading his trailer to get the stage and truss setup.  Things were pretty nervous as the forecast was for major winds and rain.  We got everything setup with 15 minutes to spare.  The good news was that the rain held off and the course started drying up.