Enjoy the beauty of a traditional ritual and escape from everyday life.
Coffee, Ceremony and Culture
Eritrea and Ethiopia are one of the only countries in Africa with a traditional coffee drinking culture. This tradition is usually performed by native women, where friends and family would gather locally to share news, updates and nourish friendships.
The coffee ceremony is a traditional ritual and a meaningful time to sit down. Many people today have such fast paced lives. In this culture, however, taking time to enjoy coffee together and catching up about the day so far or life in general is important. More than just a coffee break, the ceremony is an expression of respect and upholding a long standing ancient tradition that has been exercised for thousands of years.
How does the coffee ceremony work?
The coffee ceremony starts with spreading a row of aromatic grasses and flowers on the floor and burns incense to drive away ‘bad energy’. The natural green coffee beans are then cleaned and hand roasted on a thin rounded pan.
The beans are usually roasted until they reach a medium to dark colour. The aroma of each individual bean is unfolded in a special way using this old, traditional roasting method. The room fills with a beautiful coffee scent that anyone present can enjoy. The coffee beans are milled using a mortar. Then, using an outdoor cooker or coal fire, the coffee is brewed slowly over a low heat using a special pottery jug called Jebena. The hot coffee is then slowly poured into each little cup called a Finjal and ready to be served to all that are involved in the ceremony. This tradition is mainly performed to welcome guests or on days of big celebrations, and usually lasts for three coffee rounds and endless chatter.