Ethiopian Coffee: Deeply Ingrained In Life And Culture3 min read
Ethiopia is one of the two alleged birthplaces of the coffee species known as Arabica. It is claimed that coffee was discovered in this country a long time ago. To the native people, coffee is more than just a beverage. It is an elemental part of their daily life and culture.
In this article, we would like to discuss the most outstanding and interesting characteristics of Ethiopian coffee culture.
Drink and brew coffee as a part of rituals
In the country where incomes of an estimated 15 million people rely on coffee and up to half of the total quantity of coffee produced is consumed domestically, coffee is respected and considered as an important part of their rituals.
The native people do all the steps involved in making a cup of coffee entirely by hand. Coffee beans are roasted in a flat-bottomed pan over an open flame. Then they ground the coffee and cook it with frankincense and commiphora myrrah in a clay pot called “jebena”. In addition, the Ethiopians even have coffee ceremonies. They consider this as a mark of the Ethiopian friendship, respect and hospitality. Tradition has it that in such ceremonies, people gather to enjoy coffee. The native people serve each person a hot cup of coffee without any milk or extra ingredients.
Coffee ingrained in the Ethiopian language
Moreover, coffee plays such an essential role in the culture of the Ethiopian that it appears in even their daily lingual expressions. In other words, the Ethiopians use lots of sayings relating to coffee in their life.
For example, one common saying is “Buna dabo naw”, which means “Coffee is our bread”. It reflects the integral part of coffee in the Ethiopian diet. Similarly, if one says “Buna Tetu”, it means “Drink coffee”. The native people use this phrase not only to talk about the act of drinking coffee but also to refer to the act of socializing with friends and relatives. This closely depicts the fact that the native people often gather in groups for conversations to strengthen their relationships.
Although coffee is an important part of their life, it does not mean that the Ethiopian produce coffee for themselves only. Nowadays, you do not have to go to the country for an Ethiopian cup. You can have an Ethiopian coffee cup in many coffee shops around the world.
So, how about trying a cup of coffee made from the Arabica of Ethiopia today?