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10 September 2019

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How long does it take you to make your first cup of coffee? How about your 2nd? Coffee in western culture has always been encompassed in convenience and a tool for production. Often times, coffee is used as a means to an end- the end of your paper due at 7am, the project you will be presenting to your manager and colleagues in the morning, or the fuel to get the kids dressed, fed, and out the door.

Although coffee works wonders for all of the aforementioned obligations of day-to-day life, when was the last time you really sat down and enjoyed your cup of coffee in your own home? Therein lies the beauty of the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony.

In Ethiopian culture, the Coffee Ceremony is three rounds of coffee in what generally takes two hours with the host and other attendees. Often performed by the matriarch of the family, the ceremony is almost always performed with guests in the home, special occasions, and after church. In my household, we had a coffee ceremony every day as a means of bringing us together and unwinding after long days.

The coffee ceremony is usually performed in three phases:

1) Roasting the coffee

2) Brewing the coffee, and

3) Cupping the coffee.

The host accomplishes all three phases in front of the attendees while remaining at her station and simultaneously entertaining. Let’s dig a bit deeper with each step of the ceremony.