In most parts of Ethiopia, the coffee ceremony takes place three times a day – in the morning, at noon and in the evening. It is the main social event within the village – a time to reconnect with family and friends to discuss the community, politics, and life in general. Transformation of the spirit is said to take place during the coffee ceremony through the completion three rounds of drinking: ‘Abol’ (the first round), ‘Tona’ (second round) and ‘Baraka’ (third round) which means blessing.

The coffee ceremonies often last up to several hours. The aroma of the roasting beans brings family and friends together to relax and embrace the experience. Multiple steps in the ceremony include pan-roasting green coffee, grinding the roasted beans using a mortar and pestle, and preparing the roasted and ground coffee in a spherical-shaped pot called a jebena.

The hostess mixes the ground coffee with spices and pours it into the jebena. The structure of the jebena allows the grinds to settle on the bottom while brewing. When it is time to pour, the narrow lip of the jebena acts as a strainer to keep the grounds in the pot. The hostess serves the coffee in tiny cups called “cini”, to her audience who have waited and watched the procedure for the past half-hour. Gracefully pouring a thin golden stream of coffee into each little cup from a height of one foot without an interruption requires years of practice.

Traditionally in Ethiopia, it is only women who make the coffee and part of the ritual is to praise their coffee making ability. Women in Ethiopian households invite family and neighbors for coffee, calling out “Buna Derswal!” (The Coffee is ready).

At KafaBuna, at special times our guests enjoy a rarely seen ritual that is still practiced in most Ethiopian households, the traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. Roasting, grinding and brewing coffee, the Ethiopian way.