Bunna, Anyone

27 Jul

You have not had good coffee until you have it in Ethiopia.  Not even at Starbambi’s.  Rich and mellow.  Full flavored but not bitter.  It is like dessert.  And it is served like it as well.  At the end of the meal.  By itself, with the dignity of cheesecake.  When it is done full Ethiopian style, it is called a “Bunna” ceremony.  The hostess will prepare the libation over a charcoal fire with all the cups laid out in front of her.  It is served in small cups.  Probably because an American mug of it would keep you awake  for three days.  Ethiopians like it with milk and sugar.  Lots of sugar.  I have seen one person place three spoons full in the small cup you see.  I use three-quarters of a spoonful.  Guests would sit and visit while the host is busy with the preparation and the whole thing could take up to two hours.  When served, it is enjoyed in sips not gulps.  The world slows down and people have time for relationships.  People share and expand the sense of family and community.  Bunna.  It is more than a dark hot liquid.  It is an excuse to be involved with friends and share love.

“I’ll have a grande, decaf, non-fat, mocha with raspberry, hold the whip cream.  To go!  I’m in a hurry!”       “Please pull ahead to the next window.”

Ahhh, the American way…maybe we are missing opportunities to share hope with hearts.

2 Responses to “Bunna, Anyone”

  1. Carol Klopfenstein July 27, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    With my sensitivity to caffeine and poor sleeping ability I wouldn’t sleep for 3 days with just the one little cup- you have such a talented way to write Allen- you should have been a writer as well as a dentist- but I guess you now are- keep them coming- Carol K

  2. Vanessa July 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    I was recently debating on something to send you and I momentarily thought maybe I’d send a bag of Starbucks grounds. I asked James what he thought and he said…”Um, they have Ethiopian coffee over there!” And now I know what he was talking about! 🙂

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