An Ethiopian lady performing the coffee ceremony. © Mizou

We were always interested in learning the cultural ways of the countries we visited. One of them is the traditional coffee time for Ethiopian people. It was wonderful to taste the delicious coffee and experiencing the ritual way at the same time.

Coffee ceremony of Ethiopia and Eritrea is a core cultural custom in Ethiopia and  Eritrea. There is a routine of serving coffee daily, mainly for the purpose of getting together with relatives, neighbors, or other visitors. If coffee is politely declined, then tea will most likely be served.

Loose grass is spread on the floor where the coffee ceremony is held, often decorated with small yellow flowers.  Composite flowers are sometimes used, especially around the celebration of Meskel (an Orthodox Holiday celebrated by Eritreans and Ethiopians)

Brewing: the ceremony is typically performed by the woman of the household and is considered an honor. The coffee is brewed by first roasting the green coffee beans over an open flame in a pan. This is followed by the grinding of the beans, traditionally in a wooden mortar and pestle . The coffee grounds are then put into a special vessel which contain boiled water and will be left on an open flame a couple of minutes until it is well mixed with the hot water. After grinding, the coffee is put through a sieve several times. The boiling pot ( jebena) is usually made of pottery  and has a spherical base, a  neck and pouring spout, and a handle where the neck connects with the base. The jebena also has a straw lid.

Serving: Ambasha  is sometimes used as snack during the ceremonies

The host pours the coffee for all participants by moving the tilted boiling pot over a tray with small, handle less cups from a height of one foot without stop until each cup is full. The grounds are brewed three times: the first round of coffee is called awel in  Tigrinya , the second kale’i and the third baraka (‘to be blessed’). In  Amharic it’s አቦል abol, the second tona (Amharic: ቶና) and the third baraka (Amharic: በረካ). The coffee ceremony may also include burning of various traditional incense . People add sugar to their coffee, or in the countryside, sometimes  salt or traditional butter (see  niter kibbeh ). The beverage is accompanied by a small snack such as popcorn , peanuts, or  himbasha (also called ambasha). Source : WIKIPEDIA

Ethiopian coffee is most known in the world to be one of the best and most delicious.

Would you like to have a cup of coffee ?

Wishing you a fantastic new month!

Thanks for visiting.

50 Replies to “The ritual art of Ethiopian coffee”

  1. Great informative piece on the Ethiopian coffee making process and tradition as it is regarded by some as one of the most renowned places for their amazing coffee. Blessings

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Timely post for me! I just received some Tanzanian Peaberry from my niece who is just returned from there. I am also reading about Ethiopian coffee in an entertaining coffee book called The Devil’s Cup- I have favored the African varietals for a long time…love to get there some day…Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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