True Ethiopian Coffee
The Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
In Ethiopia an invitation to join in a coffee ceremony is considered a mark of friendship or respect. The beans are roasted in a flat pan over a tiny charcoal stove and the strong tasting coffee is served in tiny cups with a lot of sugar and no milk. During this tradition the male elder is always served first, out of respect, and three rounds of coffee are served. “Yebuna kourse” (popcorn or bread) is made to be passed with the coffee. The youngest child is summoned to stand ready to bring a cup of coffee to the eldest in the room as well as to all others, thus connecting all generations.
Gracefully pouring a thin stream of coffee into each little cup from a height of one foot without interruption requires years of practice. If the cups are placed properly when the pouring commences, they will ring overjoyed, in being filled with this heavy elixir. Sugar may be added or in the countryside, salt. Holding the little heated cup requires finger dexterity and reminds us of the Ethiopian proverb. “Coffee and love taste best when hot.”