8 in x 5.5 in x 5.13 in

Ethiopian Coffee Pot - "Jebena"

Commercial Connections - Drink Server


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Ethiopia is the fifth largest producer of coffee in the world, employing nearly 10% of the population. More than 95% is grown by small garden farmers. Ethiopia's coffee ceremony is an integral part of their social and cultural life. In most parts of Ethiopia, the coffee ceremony takes place three times per day – in the morning, at noon and in the evening. It is the main social event within the village. The ceremony can take two hours. The ceremony is Ethiopia’s homage to coffee as proclaimed by the ancient proverb, Buna dabo naw, “Coffee is our bread !” A woman of the host family, is responsible for roasting the coffee and conducting the ceremony. She prepares the 40 items necessary for the ceremony and lays them out in front of their guests. Traditionally it is conducted on long green grass (goozguaz) spread on the floor, as grass is believed to bring prosperity. Guests and members of the family now gather around in a semicircle sitting on the floor or three legged stools called berchuma facing the coffee maker. First the green coffee beans (teray bunna) are roasted on a steel skillet (beramtad) using a narrow-waisted charcoal burner (yekasal maneja). Ethiopians like their coffee dark roasted and only after the beans have become shiny are they considered sufficiently roasted. Roasted popcorn (yebuna kourse), barley (qollo), snack bread (dabo) or injera (Ethiopian bread made from teff) is passed round during the whole ceremony. All the while the beans are stirred/tossed and the husks blown away and finally a pungent white-grey smoke wafts through the air. The roasted beans are removed from the heat. After roasting, frankincense (etana) is burnt on an additional smaller charcoal burner (girgira) to mingle with the aroma of the roasted coffee and spiritualise the whole ceremony. Only freshly roasted coffee is used for brewing. Traditionally only a mortar (mukecha) and pestle (zenzena) are used to pound the roasted beans into small pieces to prepare it for brewing. The coffee pieces are then put in a jebena (clay Ethiopian coffee pot with a round bottom and long skinny spout) little by little, containing a small amount of boiled water and placed between the glowing charcoal to bring it to the boil. When the jebena has boiled sufficiently it is removed from the fire and placed on its circular band of straw stand (matot) to allow the coffee grounds to settle. The coffee is now ready for the first round termed Abol Bunna (first coffee). The conductor lifts the jebena and holding it high pours thin golden streams into small handless cups (sini) lined up together on a special miniature wooden coffee table (rekebot). The Abol Bunna round is very strong, brimming with aroma and flavour. The oldest and/or most distinguished guest is served the first cup of Abol Bunna. Coffee is taken with plenty of sugar (or in the countryside, salt) but no milk. Sometimes a herb called tenadam (heads of Adam) is put in each cup. Once the Abol Bunna round has been served, coffee brewing continues by filling the now empty jebena with water and bringing it to the boil. No additional pounded roasted coffee is added to the jebena to prepare the second round of coffee known as Tona Bunna (second coffee). The tona bunna round is therefore a weaker/sweeter coffee. Finally, the last round of coffee, araka (the blessing) is prepared exactly like the tona bunna round and served. This is the weakest round of coffee and children are permitted and encouraged to partake in its drinking. The ceremony is complete and after the elderly have blessed the occasion everybody departs or continues with their normal chores. It is impolite to retire until you have consumed at least one cup from each of the three rounds, as the third round is considered to bestow a blessing. Two main species of coffee trees are cultivated today. Coffea arabica, known as Arabica coffee, accounts for 75-80 percent of the world's production. Coffea canephora, known as Robusta coffee, accounts for about 20 percent.. Three to four years after the coffee is planted, sweetly smelling flowers grow in clusters in the axils of the coffee leaves. Fruit is produced only in the new tissue. The coffee cherry will change color from green to red about thirty to thirty-five weeks after flowering and be ready to harvest. Coffee trees need a favourable climate: areas with hot-wet or hot-temperate climate in the tropics, with frequent rains and temperatures varying from 15 to 25 Degrees C. The trees thrive in deep, hard, permeable, well-irrigated, with well-drained subsoil. The perfect altitude is between 600 and 1200 metres, though some varieties thrive at 2000-2200 metres, and others at under 400 metres- or even on level land. There are several legendary accounts of the origin of the coffee drink.The most popular involves a goat-herd, Kaldi, who, noticing the energizing effects when his flock nibbled on the bright red berries of a certain bush, chewed on the fruit himself. His exhilaration prompted him to bring the berries to a Muslim holy man in a nearby monastery. But the holy man disapproved of their use and threw them into the fire, from which an enticing aroma billowed. The roasted beans were quickly raked from the embers, ground up, and dissolved in hot water, yielding the world's first cup of coffee. The Ethiopian ancestors of today's Oromo tribe, were the first to have recognized the energizing effect of the native coffee plant. Coffee beans were first exported from Ethiopia to Yemen in the middle of the 1500s. Yemeni traders brought coffee back to their homeland and began to cultivate the bean. It was in Yemen that coffee beans were first roasted and brewed as they are today. From Mocha, coffee spread to Egypt and North Africa, and by the 16th century, it had reached the rest of the Middle East, Persia and Turkey. From the Muslim world, coffee drinking spread to Italy, then to the rest of Europe, and coffee plants were transported by the Dutch to the East Indies and to the Americas.

Sources: http://www.ico.org/coffee_story.asp http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_coffee#Production http://www.ikhofi.co.za/amaphepha/ethiopian_coffee/coffee_ceremony.htm http://coffee.wikia.com/wiki/Coffee_production_by_country