Monday, March 5, 2012

Ethiopia - Coffee Ceremony


Yesterday we had a coffee ceremony at our guest house.  It was so fun, but it went by too quickly!

It started with the bean roasting.  Our host took fresh, green coffee beans and roasted them in a shallow pan over the fire until they were dark brown.  She then brought the pan around to each of us so we could smell the rich smell of freshly-roasted coffee beans. 

Our coffee ceremony was outside in the courtyard of our guesthouse, and the beans were brought inside for grinding after they had been roasted.  While the beans were being ground, she placed a ceramic jug of water on top of the fire.  Soon the water began to boil, and the coffee grounds were added to the jug and left to settle on the bottom.

After a time, we were each given a delicate chinacup and the host came around and poured the fresh coffee into our cups.  Somebody else came around with sugar in the raw to sweeten the coffee.  I guess Ethiopians add a lot of sugar, so I did too!  It was very good.

One thing that surprised me was that the coffee didn't have the bitter after-taste that I think of when I think of coffee here in the states.  I typically don't like coffee, but I liked this coffee.

Also, did I mention the popcorn?  Popcorn was passed around on a tray from the start, and we munched on it throughout the entire ceremony.

The whole process was relaxed and very conversational.  We had a good time chatting with the other American family staying at the guest house, and our Ethiopian friends who were on staff at the guest house.  The warm sun shone down on us as we were reclining in chairs and on stairs in the courtyard.  I think it was as close to a perfect afternoon as you can get!

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