Ethiopian Coffee

  |   Posted: February 28, 2020

The coffee ceremony is incredibly important in Ethiopian culture. It brings together family, friends and communities. Traditionally, women lead the ceremony. They roast coffee beans in a pan over a fire, letting guests or family members enjoy the aromas. Then they grind the beans and brew them in a clay pot called a jebena. Roasting your own coffee beans at home will give you a glimpse into one element of this relationship-building custom. Ethiopians normally serve the coffee along with popcorn, traditional homemade bread or roasted barley.   

Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 3-8 minutes
Cool time: 5 minutes 
Total time: 13-18 minutes

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup green (unroasted) Ethiopian coffee beans, which can be bought online or at some coffee shops and Ethiopian restaurants

Directions

Cook's notes: Roast the coffee in a well-ventilated area because the process emits smoke. If you don't have a vent over your stove, you could roast them next to a window fan or outdoors. 

  1. Place an empty steel colander in a freezer.
  2. Thoroughly rinse the unroasted coffee beans with water. Remove to paper towels to soak up excess water. 
  3. Heat a heavy pan, such as a cast-iron skillet, over medium. Place your washed coffee beans into the hot pan. Keep the beans moving continually by stirring with a wooden spoon or by shaking the pan. 
  4. Roast 3-7 minutes, depending how dark you like your roast. Listen for cracking sounds. After about 3-4 minutes, you should hear the first crack, meaning the beans are at a light roast. After another minute or 2, they will be at a medium roast. For a dark roast, heat them about 2 more minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat. To prevent the beans from continuing to roast, place them the chilled colander and agitate quickly. Continue until the beans are warm but not hot to the touch. 
  6. Ethiopians usually grind the beans just after they're cool enough, and then brew and serve the coffee. Some coffee roasters say the flavor of home-roasted beans improves if you leave them in an unsealed container at least 24 hours before grinding and brewing.
Watch a video of mothers in Compassion's Survival Program telling why and how the Ethiopian coffee ceremony is done.

The coffee ceremony is incredibly important in Ethiopian culture. It brings together family, friends and communities. Traditionally, women lead the ceremony. They roast coffee beans in a pan over a fire, letting guests or family members enjoy the aromas. Then they grind the beans and brew them in a clay pot called a jebena. Roasting your own coffee beans at home will give you a glimpse into one element of this relationship-building custom. Ethiopians normally serve the coffee along with popcorn, traditional homemade bread or roasted barley.   

Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 3-8 minutes
Cool time: 5 minutes 
Total time: 13-18 minutes

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup green (unroasted) Ethiopian coffee beans, which can be bought online or at some coffee shops and Ethiopian restaurants

Directions

Cook's notes: Roast the coffee in a well-ventilated area because the process emits smoke. If you don't have a vent over your stove, you could roast them next to a window fan or outdoors. 

  1. Place an empty steel colander in a freezer.
  2. Thoroughly rinse the unroasted coffee beans with water. Remove to paper towels to soak up excess water. 
  3. Heat a heavy pan, such as a cast-iron skillet, over medium. Place your washed coffee beans into the hot pan. Keep the beans moving continually by stirring with a wooden spoon or by shaking the pan. 
  4. Roast 3-7 minutes, depending how dark you like your roast. Listen for cracking sounds. After about 3-4 minutes, you should hear the first crack, meaning the beans are at a light roast. After another minute or 2, they will be at a medium roast. For a dark roast, heat them about 2 more minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat. To prevent the beans from continuing to roast, place them the chilled colander and agitate quickly. Continue until the beans are warm but not hot to the touch. 
  6. Ethiopians usually grind the beans just after they're cool enough, and then brew and serve the coffee. Some coffee roasters say the flavor of home-roasted beans improves if you leave them in an unsealed container at least 24 hours before grinding and brewing.
Watch a video of mothers in Compassion's Survival Program telling why and how the Ethiopian coffee ceremony is done.

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