• SHARE

Ethiopia has no tea ceremony, but it does have a coffee ceremony all its own.

Walking down the road you will often come across a young woman sitting under a leafy roof with a tray of small handleless cups like Japanese teacups in front of her, together with narrow-necked jugs, clay braziers holding charcoal fires and a bamboo fan to whisk the flames.

If you sit down to join her, first she roasts green coffee beans over the fire, then grinds them in a pestle and mortar, puts the grounds into the jug and boils it up. After it has percolated several times, she puts a heaped spoonful of sugar into each guest’s cup, then pours the coffee on top.

Each cup comes on a tray with a dish of peanuts and a little earthenware holder on which frankincense is burning over charcoal, giving off a rich musty scent. The coffee is very strong and very sweet.

The whole ceremony takes about an hour. It’s a fabulous sensory experience as well as a great social occasion. And as well as being cheerful, it’s cheap, too. (L.D.)

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)