Ethiopia: A coffee ritual

Ethiopia:   A coffee ritual

Ethiopia is called the birthplace of coffee, there are many areas where it is grown and is one of the country's main exports for foreign currency.
I experienced a coffee ritual. A funny observation which I want to make first is that popcorn is eaten with coffee!

First the elaborate ritual involved roasting the beans, giving a roasted aroma in the air which , was like aromatherapy session for me.

Later after the coffee was ground up it went into a pot, and the usual way , and poured into small cups ( very similar to the Arab "finjan", which has no handles on the cup) and one has to lift the cup up with their fingers to taste and drink. Several of these coffee cups were lined up on the table for us to try.

The coffee was served black and strong. Popcorn, as I mentioned in the beginning, was an accompaniment to the coffee. I had tasted many styles of coffee and different roasting styles and, I will say, in my opinion, this kind of Ethiopian coffee was an acquired taste.

It was unlike the so called "Ethiopian" coffee which one could buy in the supermarkets in the West, and at coffee places, each with a special regional taste, ( but I was informed that the Ethiopian coffee exchange mixes up the different species of coffee from the different provinces and regions into a homogenized blend, indistinguishable from it's original regional character and blend).   

I suppose the "Ethiopian" coffee we drink and are accustomed to at home in our coffee cups was made especially for our market, as the coffee I had in Addis and other areas outside of Addis were different , and also different to the Arabic coffee taste and also Yemeni coffee, a neighbour . ( Mokka is a port city in Yemen, also obviously near Ethiopia )

I couldn't find any real coffee to bring back with me from Ethiopia, maybe I wasn't looking in the right places too.  Anyway, I had an interesting coffee ritual which I never experienced before.


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