Saturday, April 24, 2010

Originally Ethiopian

Some claim the coffee bean was first used for its stimulating effect in Ethiopia as early as the 9th century. From there is spread to the Middle East (Yemen and Arabia) and Egypt. Coffee has had seasons of being for religious use only or other prohibitions. But it’s certainly a part of current Ethiopian culture.In addition to a nice cappuccino at some more upscale caf├ęs in Addis, we were privileged to have two coffee ceremonies performed for us.
You start with ‘green’ beans which are washed, then roasted before you on a small charcoal burner.
A traditional coffee pot is placed on the coals with water inside to boil while the beans are cooled a bit and then ground. The coffee is then put right in the water to boil with it. I would call that cowboy coffee. (How you make it when you’re camping.)The table at a coffee ceremony is low and decorated for the occasion. The cups are tiny because the coffee is strong. After it bubbled up through the neck of the coffee pot a couple of times it’s ready. Then it’s poured with some flair into the cups and served to the guests.One of our hostesses added just a touch of cinnamon when roasting the beans. Another added a little incense to the charcoal burner for extra ambiance.
If you know me, you know I like coffee. If you know me well, you know that I sometimes have a hard time with the effects of coffee. I had to pace myself. But it was a wonderful part of this rich culture.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Very informative post, we just pop the kettle on and pour a coffee, it's interesting to see how other cultures put so much effort into it. Great Blog.