Traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony.
Zege Peninsula, Tana region, Ethiopia.
Canon – 1/30, f5.6, ISO 800.
Coffee drinking in Ethiopia is an event! The Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony is delightful part of Ethiopian life. Coffee (known as ‘Bunna’ (boo-na) is taken through its full life cycle of preparation in front of me in a ceremonial manner.
Performed by a woman, the ceremony commences as the washed coffee beans are brought out, and roasted in a coffee roasting pan on a small open fire/coal furnace. My senses are now awakened, and involved in the ceremony. The woman shakes the roasting pan back and forth to prevent the beans from burning. As they begin to ‘pop’, the preparer takes the roasted coffee and walks around past all in attendance. The aroma of freshly roasted coffee fills the air …
The roasted coffee is then put into a heavy wooden bowl (Mukecha) for grinding with a wooden/metal stick (Zenezena). The beans are crushed in a rhythmic up & down manner (pistil and mortar).The fresh roasted coffee powder is put into a traditional clay pot (jebena) with water and boiled in a small open fire/coal furnace, the beautiful aroma once again filling the air. Once boiled the coffee is served in very small chinese cups (Cini).
Sipping my first (Abol) serving of coffee, I’ve experienced the full process of seeing the coffee beans being washed, roasted, grinded, boiled & now the culmination, drinking them.
The ceremony is not yet over, however. A second (Huletegna), and third (Bereka) serving of coffee completes this traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony.