Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee

Saturday August  31, 2013



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Ethiopian folklore contends that coffee beans (which are actually the seeds of cherrylike fruits) were discovered around 800 A.D. by a goatherder.  When his goats began grazing on the red fruit of a coffee plant, the herder rushed a handful of the mysterious fruit to nearby monks, who promptly destroyed the seeds by tossing them into a fire -- something they were warned to do with potentially sinful items.


However, the roasted seeds exhibited two miraculously redeeming qualities: a delectable aroma and when crushed and steeped in hot water, a distinctive drink with an invigorating kick. The brew buzzed the monks' daily devotions, allowing them to continue their prayer long into the night  And as coffee's popularity spread throughout Ethiopia and eventually the world, it inspired a devotion all its own.



Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony


In parts of Ethiopia, the woman of the house (or a younger woman in the household) performs or participates in the two- to three-hour coffee ceremony three times each day (once in the morning, once at noon and once in the evening). It is also customary for women to perform the ceremony when welcoming visitors into the home and in times of celebration.


The coffee ceremony is considered to be the most important social occasion in many villages and it is a sign of respect and friendship to be invited to a coffee ceremony. Guests at a ceremony may discuss topics such as politics, community and gossip. There is also abundant praise for the ceremony’s performer and the brews she produces.


Beyond pure socialization, the coffee ceremony also plays a spiritual role in Ethiopia, one which emphasizes the importance of Ethiopian coffee culture.





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