Sami people of Lapland started drinking coffee in the late 19th century, shortly after it had become pervasive in the southern parts of the Scandinavian countries. While initially used as a complement to reindeer broth, it soon became viewed as a drink in its own right. Serving it with cow or goats’ milk, as well as coffee cheese and dried reindeer meat both was and is still normal to this day.
In this region grows a poisonous (MAGIC) mushroom that local shamans feed to reindeer. The animals intestinal tracts filter out the poison so that the 'shroom’s remains, in the form of reindeer broth, which is used to steep Yemen coffee, fit to be imbibed. The resulting hallucinogenic trips had the shamans flying through the sky on reindeer and returning to their bodies via cottage chimneys. We have no idea how much of this account is true, or what degree of influence it actually had on modern Christmas traditions, but we really, really want to believe it!
‘Yemen Mocca Saami’ is a limited, ancestral, heirloom varietal, organically grown by small family owned farms, in the mountains high above the red sea between Ta’izz in the south and Sa’dah in the north.
Photographer, Erika Larsen, lived in North Sami for several years, documenting her experience with a family of reindeer herders. "It is true, Sami herders drink a lot of coffee. All day, everyday!"
View her beautiful photo collection: SAMI, Walking with Reindeer.
Happy holidays from your friends at Caffe Vita!