The entire process takes about 2 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, people begin to trickle in and gather around the ceremony. It was a beautiful sense of community as folks took a break from their days to gather and chat. I am told that the ceremony occurs several times a day here. I cant imagine how they get anything else done if that’s true.
Popcorn is served to munch on while waiting for the coffee to brew. I was curious about this, I’ve never eaten popcorn with coffee. The Ethiopian woman asked me what Americans eat with coffee. “Cookies!” I responded. She winced as I had at the thought of popcorn with coffee. From what I heard, people in India enjoy this tradition also.
Green coffee beans are roasted on a small tin pan on that little ‘grill’ looking thing. I cannot express how wonderful it smelled! This takes about 20-30 minutes. The roasted beans are then ground and put into that black,vase-looking container and there are steeped for about 30 minutes.
The entire process is very official with only one person working on the coffee while others wait. No one dared touch the equipment or offered to help. We Americans had to figure that one out the hard way.
Finally the coffee was finished, I couldn’t wait for some. See the little cups off to the right of the picture? I had seen these at all the gift shops, but I wasn’t sure what they were until now. They only held about 4 oz. of liquid, personally, I need A LOT more coffee in the morning than that.
Well, as luck would have it, this is what the coffee was served in. After over two hours of waiting, you get 3-4 oz. of coffee (wonderful coffee!) and no more. All of the Americans were looking at each other like “That’s ALL??”, but the nationals just sipped on theirs, savoring the experience. It is VERY RUDE to ask for more, again, personal experience.
All the coffee in Ethiopia was wonderful. I am a spoiled coffee drinker, I need my cream and sugar, freshly ground beans, etc…..but the coffee was so good, I learned to drink it w/o creamer. Dairy is in very short supply over there and very little was ever offered. Water was the beverage for almost every meal. One morning when we had cereal, it was offered ‘dry’…..say what?? Needless to say, I can’t eat dry cornflakes. Funny though, Rahel, my 12 year-old Ethiopian daughter can. Bereket and Epherem drink and eat milk now, but Rahel won’t touch it. They just aren’t used to it. They also hate yogurt and butter.
Overall, it was one of my favorite experiences during our trip.