The Coffee Ceremony: An Ethiopian Tradition

Ethiopia is the cradle of humanity, Rastafarianism, Queen of Sheba, the Land of Lucy, and most importantly, the place where coffee was first brewed.

On any street in Ethiopia you can find “buna” (pronounced bun-ah). It’s not what you get at home or from the coffee shop. In the West you may only find it in an Ethiopian restaurant. The brew was first used in religious ceremonies in the 15th century.

DSC01132  DSC01133 If you are first to the ceremony, you will watch the beans get roasted in a pan.  Oh yeah, time?  Forget about it.  Once the green beans are roasted, each person is given a chance to waft the smoke in their face. After that it is ground in a mortar and pestle and then boiled for ages on a charcoal jack cooker. DSC01469    DSC01472 Once the coffee is poured incensed is heaped onto the cooker.  Its incredibly special. DSC01474 Gosia and I enjoy our first cup. Often this cup will be filled up to halfway with cane sugar before the coffee is poured on.  Not in mine though.  And cream?  Forget about it! DSC01903 This was my own personal coffee ceremony in Turmi, a Hamar “town” DSC01907 Oh coffee girl, looks like you need some of you own product.  I know that goes against the rules but… DSC02841Finally, in the empty, white cup you can see an herb.  I don’t recall what it’s name is but you can see it floating in the full cup if you look closer.  The herb is savory and adds a level of complexity that is for lack of better word, vintage.

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