Coffee Ceremony

7 Jan

Welcome to 2012!  And welcome to the coffee ceremony!   All three rounds.  Ah-bowl.  Toe-na.  Ber-a-ka.  In the picture above the hostess is in the process of roasting the beans…charcoal fire under the flat pan. Aroma wafting on the gentle breeze.  Sometimes the sweetly pungent scent of fragrant incense is added to the blend in the small pot in front of the cup stand.  Stirring constantly, while the green coffee beans come to the perfect state of readiness, she will then take the plate around to each person so that they might capture one last sniff and lend their approval.  After crushing the beans with the wooden mortar and pestle (far right) she places the grind into the round Aladinesque pot with the cork next to her knee and that goes back to the charcoal fire for brewing.

The traditional ceremonial attire complements the serenity of the setting as quiet conversation is interchanged with observation of the young lady’s actions.  She will pour the contents into the small cups…serve…add water and then re-brew.  Ah-bowl shifts to Toe-na.  Then Ber-a-ka.  The memory of the strength of the first lingers through the lighter experience of the last.  Ber-a-ka means, “The blessing.”

A tranquil metaphor on life.  Like the bean that becomes the brew, we are prepared to a state of readiness.  Like the water that becomes the elixir, our lives are transformed and we are poured out.  Zealous first draughts of service are strong with their memories.  Each further cup is more tempered with experience and all culminates in a blessing of sharing hope with hearts.  Through the heat of the fire and the crushing of the rod the green-ness of the bean becomes the pleasure of the receiver’s sampling of the love that flows through our service.  May God bless your new year.  Enjoy your next cup of Joe like an Ethiopian.

2 Responses to “Coffee Ceremony”

  1. onlybygrace3 January 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    That is fascinating! Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to experience the traditional coffee ceremony one day. It is coming though!

  2. Ann January 7, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    Mmmm…I can smell those beans clear over here! You forgot to add that they add enough sugar to each cup to make anybody fall in love and be addicted with the first sip!
    Thanks for sharing,

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