Ethiopian coffee ceremonies

coffee-ceremony-ethiopia-wholesale-coffeeHere at the Wholesale Coffee Company, we take our coffee very seriously. All our beans are quality controlled, and everything’s produced to the same high, consistent standards that our discerning customers have come to expect. While we know that our customers like to grind their own beans and take their time preparing high quality coffee drinks for their own customers, in Ethiopia the ceremony of preparing and drinking coffee can take hours. Here’s what goes on at the ceremony.

Coffee was believed to have been discovered in Ethiopia in the 11th century, and it’s formed an important part of the national culture ever since, providing an opportunity to socialise and exchange news. The coffee ceremony can take up to three hours, and be performed up to three times a day. It’s also performed to welcome visitors, and it’s a mark of friendship to be invited to attend. There’s also a spiritual element, and the three rounds of the ceremony are said to be necessary to transform the spirit.

The process begins with preparing the room, which includes burning incense and filling the jebena, around, clay coffeepot with water and setting it on hot coals to heat. Next, the green coffee beans and cleaned and roasted in a pan over an open fire. The degree of roasting will vary depending on personal taste. Next, the roasted beans are ground with a mukecha and zenezena (tools similar to a pestle and mortar), and added to the hot water in the jebena.

Once ready, the coffee is poured into tiny cups. The shape of the jebena means that the coffee grounds remain in the pot during pouring.

Depending on the region, guests may add sugar, salt, butter or honey. The hostess of the ceremony may also add spices during the roasting process to flavour the finished coffee. The pot is traditionally passed around three times, with the coffee being weaker during each serving.

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