Because we live in a VERY small town in Idaho with VERY few Ethiopians, I knew that the only way to expose Abi to the culture of her home country was to try to recreate as much of it myself as I could. I learned to cook several Ethiopian foods (the injera is still a work in progress), and I took careful mental notes on how to do a coffee ceremony.
The last thing I needed was a charcoal brazier to cook the beans and heat the water. I was stumped, until a friend suggested that I use a terra cotta flower pot. Bingo! With that, and the fireplace to vent it and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, I had a workable brazier.
Being married to a coffee roaster has its perks. Getting a little bit of unroasted coffee beans from Ethiopia was as easy as asking Hubby to buy them from the shop.
Yesterday, I finally had everything I needed, and I tried my first practice coffee ceremony for my family.
I used my traditional "Jebena" (coffeepot) and to my delight, the coffee tasted exactly like it did in Addis: strong, bright and sweet.
Now that I feel confident roasting the coffee and performing the ceremony, I plan to invite friends over for a cultural show-and-tell in the future. I also can do coffee ceremonies to celebrate things like birthdays or holidays.
I have to admit, I felt inordinately proud of myself for successfully recreating this ancient, beautiful ceremony. I want to teach my kids about Abi's culture and heritage, and incorporate it into our own family's traditions. Someday, if she goes back to Ethiopia, I hope she recognizes the whiff of frankincense and the taste of injera.