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The Ethiopian coffee ceremony

December 06, 2020

The Ethiopian coffee ceremony - Impact Roasters

One of the things that make Ethiopia unique among other coffee producing countries is its coffee consumption. Around 50% of the coffee produced in Ethiopia stays within the domestic market for consumption by Ethiopians.

It is partly because coffee takes a considerable part in Ethiopian culture and is part of everyday life. For Ethiopians, coffee is more than just a drink. It is a medium to build relationships between families, friends, and communities. Coffee is used for special occasions such as marriage and birth, various celebrations and gatherings, not to forget the famous Ethiopian coffee ceremony. 

Coffee for centuries

The Ethiopian coffee ceremony dates back to over a thousand years. Back then, coffee was used as a sacred substance to keep the monks awake during their spiritual practices. The method of performing the ceremony was kept alive till nowadays and is still widely used across the country. 

To be invited to the coffee ceremony is considered to be an expression of respect and friendship and usually, one is not expected to turn down the invitation.

Even though everyone is welcome to join the ceremony, only women get the honor to perform the whole ritual. They usually get to wear a traditional white dress with nicely colored woven borders. The ceremony takes up to a few hours and follows a distinct format.

In the meantime, people take their time to communicate with each other and have a good time together. 

It’s more than sipping a good cup of coffee 

The process starts with roasting raw beans on the pan over hot coals into the dark roast and grinding it with a pestle. By the time coffee grounds are ready, they are placed in a clay jar called jebena together with water. After boiling for some time, the coffee is ready to be served in small cups called sini.

To connect all generations, usually, the youngest child serves the first cup to the eldest in the room.

There are normally three rounds for serving coffee each round of coffee being more diluted than the previous one. They are called abol, tona and baraka, the last one meaning “to be blessed.” The rounds are believed to symbolize the spiritual transformation, and one gets blessed after finishing to drink the last round.

Ethiopian coffee ceremony at Impact Roasters

Come and experience the real Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony at Impact Roasters. As Ethiopians would say, “Buna Tetu’ meaning “drink coffee,” referring to the act of socializing and catching up for a cup of coffee.

Keep an eye on the Events on our Facebook page and see when we are hosting our next Ethiopian coffee ceremony. We hope you will enjoy the Ethiopian way of drinking coffee, which encompasses all senses and is a huge part of the Ethiopian culture. 

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