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Eritrean Coffee Ceremony in Hulme

Eritrean Coffee Ceremony in Hulme

Sr Meheret prepares coffee for her companions

A coffee ceremony is a ritualized form of making and drinking coffee. The coffee ceremony was first practiced in Eritrea and Ethiopia. There is a routine of serving coffee on a daily basis, mainly for the purpose of getting together with relatives, neighbours, or other visitors. Loose grass is spread on the floor where the coffee ceremony is held, often decorated with small yellow flowers.

The ceremony is typically performed by the woman of the household and is considered an honor.The coffee is brewed by first roasting the green coffee beans over an open flame in a pan.This is followed by the grinding of the beans, traditionally in a wooden mortar and pestle.The coffee grounds are then put into a special vessel which contain boiled water and will be left on an open flame a couple of minutes until it is well mixed with the hot water.[After grinding, the coffee is put through a sieve several times.[The boiling pot is usually made of pottery and has a spherical base, a neck and pouring spout, and a handle where the neck connects with the base. The jebena also has a straw lid.

The host pours the coffee for all participants by moving the tilted boiling pot over a tray with small, handle less cups from a height of one foot without stop until each cup is full. The grounds are brewed three times: the first round of coffee is called awel in Tigrinya, the second kale'i and the third baraka ('to be blessed'). The coffee ceremony may also include burning of various traditional incense. People add sugar to their coffee, or in the countryside, sometimes salt or traditional butter. The beverage is accompanied by a small snack such as popcorn or peanuts.

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