Ethiopia’s Coffee Culture and Coffee Ceremonies

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Though most people wouldn’t find any meaning behind a cup of coffee besides its wonderful taste, Ethiopians believe coffee plays an important role in their everyday lives because it is considered their most important social event, has a spiritual role, and stimulates the economy quite a bit. It is important to know about other cultures besides our own because we don’t all share the same customs and traditions. What might be a kind act or gesture in one culture, could be an insult or rude in another. In fact, most people never realize if what they did was disrespectful to a specific culture because they don’t know any better. Therefore, it is important to try and seek as much knowledge as possible about a variety of different cultures as possible so that we don’t fall under that category. It would be very difficult to know about every single culture but it is important that we at least try and familiarize ourselves with some of the more common ones. Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia in East Africa is populated with around three million people. The city is occupied by people from different regions of Ethiopia and has as many as 80 nationalities speaking 80 different languages. It is a place were a variety of different cultures meet and share one common belief, coffee ceremonies. The Ethiopian coffee ceremony is very important to the country itself. Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee. In the tenth century, Ethiopian people are known to be the first to recognize the effect of coffee. “The mystic Sufi pilgrims of Islam spread coffee throughout the Middle East. From the Middle East these beans spread to Europe and then throughout their colonial empire including Indonesia and the Americas.” In Ethiopia, coffee ceremonies are c... ... middle of paper ... ...nally, she boils the coffee until it is ready to be served. The first cup enjoyed during the ceremony is known as “Abol”. This is the strongest cup, and therefore has the most significant. Usually, if the guest shows up after the first cup of coffee that is served by the host, it is pointless to show up anymore. The second cup is known as “Tona” and the third is known as “Baraka”. The third cup is assumed to be the minimum amount of coffee consumed before stopping if the guest desires. Failure to have consumed the third round of coffee fails to receive his or her “blessing”. It is also viewed as impolite to retire before three cups of coffee so usually people just don’t. Also during this time, the younger generations join during the third cup because it is the weakest. Since the same coffee beans are used for one ceremony, the more servings the weaker the coffee is.

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