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  • HiRa Cafe & Patisserie Brings Ethiopian Cake-And-Coffee Culture to Aurora

    Pair pastry chef Hiwot Solomon's Black Forest cake, cookies, and tiramisu with house-roasted, single-origin Ethiopian coffee at the cheery spot.

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    Hiwot Solomon is obsessed with baking. Her cousin, Mickias Alamirew, is equally devoted to Ethiopian coffee. Together, they have re-created their homeland’s delicious (albeit postcolonial) tradition of pairing a Western-style dessert with a cup of coffee at Solomon’s Aurora bakery, HiRa Cafe & Patisserie. Solomon has vivid memories of visiting similar cafes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, for a slice of cake and a cup, a custom she says Ethiopians adhere to whether in their native country or elsewhere in the world. Baking cakes began as a hobby in 2006 when, at age 26, she immigrated to Aurora. Following a decade of working as a restaurant server and with ample encouragement from family and friends, she decided she wanted to make it her career. After earning a pastry and baking degree from the Art Institute of Colorado, Solomon opened HiRa Cafe in February 2019. Since then, she has garnered a loyal following for her fluffy, gently sweet mousse and Black Forest cakes, cardamom- and nutmeg-spiced vanilla sablé cookies, cream puffs, croissants, and ethereal tiramisù made with her cousin’s house-roasted, single-origin Ethiopian brew. You can call ahead to have Solomon make you a custom cake for your next celebration—but don’t wait for a special occasion to visit her bright, peaceful shop for Ethiopian breakfast plates or a sweet treat and a cup of coffee with a friend.

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