Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

By Stowel Lake Farm

We participated in a Multicultural Celebration at the kids’ school this afternoon. After the performances and sharing by children and adults alike, the adults were invited to be part of a traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. This woman pictured in the photos, Salam, was born in Ethiopia and now lives in Victoria. She shared with us some of the customs around coffee in regards to family and community life. Salam explained how Ethiopians will have coffee ceremonies often several times a day, upon waking, returning to the house after church, whenever someone drops by for a visit and as a part of holidays and significant life moments.
The whole family sits down for the ceremony which includes roasting the coffee beans, grinding the coffee, brewing and serving. The children do not drink coffee but must wait until the adults are served before taking food.
The coffee is served black or with milk and sugar although Salam mentioned that in Ethiopia only the rich people would have milk. Popcorn is the traditional snack to serve with a coffee ceremony along with bread and sweets if it is a special holiday.
Coffee ceremonies are also a time for people to share their troubles and will often go late into the night if someone needs to work through a problem.

Salam poured a little coffee from cup to cup before filling each cup from the pot.

At the end of each ceremony a blessing is requested or thanks is given. In the morning time they thank God for the day, if they have just moved they ask for a blessing on the the new house.
Haidee and I were both so grateful to have experienced this rich and beautiful tradition. Lv. Liz

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