Whittier Cafe - Brewing Coffee and Community in Denver

Whittier Cafe - Brewing Coffee and Community in Denver

Whittier Cafe, nestled in Denver's Whittier neighborhood, is more than just a coffee shop. Owned by Millete Birhanemaskel, the cafe hosts a weekly Ethiopian coffee ceremony that draws people together, fostering a sense of community and connection. The ceremony is a rich tradition where coffee is brewed in a jebena, and friends and family gather to share stories and updates. Birhanemaskel's goal in opening Whittier Cafe was to create a space where people could connect, irrespective of their differences. Over the years, the cafe has grown into a local hub for social justice and activism, even earning the nickname "the activist’s coffee shop." Despite challenges, including acts of vandalism and threats, Birhanemaskel remains committed to her mission. The cafe also serves as an educational space, teaching customers about the origins of coffee in Africa. For Birhanemaskel, the coffee ceremonies are central to the cafe's identity, embodying the essence of community and connection.

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