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Ethiopian coffee stars in Farmer Horse Coffee

Cool iced mocha at Farmer House Coffee cafe in Boston.
Cool iced mocha at Farmer House Coffee cafe in Boston.SUZANNE KREITER/GLOBE STAFF/Globe staff

"Coffee is a beautiful thing," says Mo Farah, who grew up among coffee farms in Ethiopia, as did his friend, Kassegn Sirmollo. Farah, 30, came to the United States as a youngster, Sirmollo, 28, as a teenager. The two recently opened Farmer Horse Coffee, a 25-seat cafe near Symphony (the name is a riff on a famed Ethiopian coffee exporter). "We want to introduce our coffee culture to the community around us, " says Farah. You'll find single-origin Ethiopian coffees, but the specialty is the Yirgacheffe bean, considered the best in Ethiopia. It yields coffee that is full-bodied and mellow, almost sweet, fragrant, and distinctive. Making coffee drinks is Hunter Reidy, 20, who honed his art at Pavement Coffeehouse, Boston Common Coffee Co., and Starbucks.

Also on the menu are confections, bagels, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and large Ethiopian-style smoothies with layers of banana, strawberry, and avocado. Take a seat and one of the friendly owners just might come over with a bowl of dabo kolo, a crunchy snack made with fried bits of sweetened bread. "It's a tradition if someone comes into your home," says Farah. "Welcome to Our House. Make It Your Home," is the chalkboard greeting to customers. Farmer Horse Coffee, 374 Massachusetts Ave., Symphony, Boston, 617-982-7183, www.farmerhorse.com.


Owners Kassegn Sirmollo (left) and Mo Farah.
Owners Kassegn Sirmollo (left) and Mo Farah.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff/Globe staff