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Coffee City

Melissa Allison follows the world's biggest coffee-shop chain and other Seattle caffeine purveyors.

July 26, 2010 at 11:46 AM

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What is Nekisse coffee, anyway?

Posted by Melissa Allison

Nekisse is known as an extremely tasty, high-priced Ethiopian coffee. It has sold for $12 a cup in New York City, but can be drunk for less than $3 at Fonte Coffee Roaster and Wine Bar, 1321 First Avenue.

Unlike Harrar, Yirgacheffe and Sidamo, Nekisse is not a region in Ethiopia.

"Nekisse is a made-up word, a name to identify a style of coffee," said Fonte master roaster Steve Smith.

The Nekisse style was created by Ninety Plus Coffee of Colorado, which has a difficult-to-penetrate web site and did not return a message last week. Ninety Plus also developed the Beloya style of coffee, which created a ballyhoo a couple years ago but is no longer available for complicated reasons involving the Ethiopian coffee exchange.

After Ninety Plus creates a style, it finds a farm or farms that will grow it. In the case of Nekisse, it's a farm in the Sidamo region in southern Ethiopia, Smith said.

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