Ethiopia is the birthplace of the coffee plant, Coffee Arabica. Legends claim that a goat herder in the 9th century saw one of his goats nibbling on the bean (coffee cherries). The goat herder tried the beans himself, and was filled with a glorious jolt of energy; others have heard different myths.
Regardless of the legend, one thing is clear; there is a lot to learn from Ethiopians when it comes to coffee. Ethiopians, for instance, have a special traditional coffee cup used to make coffee. These coffee cups are said to make some of the best Ethiopian coffee in the world!
Did you know that in this part of the world, it is normal to drink coffee three times a day? Let’s delve deep into this historic coffee serving pot!
Ethiopian Coffee Pot – What Is a Jebana?
You will find two types of these traditional Ethiopian coffee pots used; the most common is a black coffee pot with a long neck, pouring spout, a spherical base and a handle that connects the pot’s neck with its base.
The other is made of red clay, but with the same structure as the black clay pot, only the red coffee pots do not have spouts. These are common in the Northern part of Ethiopia, and some parts of Eritrea.
Traditional Ethiopian coffee pots, also popularly known as Jebana, are made of clay. This one on Amazon has received 4.5 stars and is priced really well; the reviews indicate that the pot is authentic.
In Addis Ababa, jebanas are available common and very affordable!
The pots are held upright by a winker stand. You can easily find an Ethiopian coffee cup of your choice in different online stores. These pots bring authenticity and traditional culture of coffee into your home.
In parts of Ethiopia, a young woman or the woman of the house, performs the Ethiopian coffee ceremony 3 times a day. Of course, Ethiopians may perform these customary coffee ceremonies for visitors.
The Ethiopian coffee ceremony is one of the most social occassions in villages and is considered to be a sign of respect and friendship to be invited to one. Compare it to how Americans socialize at the bar but replace alcohol with alcohol: guests at the ceremony discuss various topics such as politics, gossip, news, and so on.
In Ethiopian culture, this ceremony is three rounds of coffee in around two hours with a host and attendees, and for some families, a daily ritual!
Just in case it wasn’t clear, the ceremony is usually performed in three phases: roasting the coffee, brewing it, and lastly, cupping the coffee.
The first round of coffee is called Awel and is typically the strongest. If there is enough coffee still left, the host will pour additional coffee for extra servings for everyone.
Next is the Kahleye round (round 2). The host will simply add water to the jebana and place it onto the stove for the second again and keep the brewing process alive. Due to adding water, this round is typically less stronger than the Awel round.
The final round is called Bereka(“to give blessings”). This round is the weakest and lightest and the final bit of coffee soaked from the grounds.
Best Ethiopian Pots aka Jebana On The Market
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Things To Consider Before Purchasing An Ethiopian Coffee Pot
The holding and brewing capacity of the pot depends on the size, so it is important to consider what size you need. Medium size is very common; it’s around 9 inches tall, and holds about 35 fl.oz of coffee.
Always check your stovetop before you purchase this pot. The pot has a spherical bottom, and gas stoves with grates are the only ones which may be ideal for this type.
If you use a smooth electric top, you need to exercise extra caution. Do not use a dishwashing machine, because it will not be good with the porous nature of the clay.
Brewing Coffee The Original Way With A Ethiopian Coffee Pot
An Ethiopian coffee pot is the best way to make your coffee, but it’s not a job for the impatient. If you want to do it the traditional way, just boil water slowly, while roasting your coffee beans.
It’s important to know that the strength of your coffee will be determined by how the beans were ground, and how it was steeped. Once you are done, add a heaping tablespoon of coffee into your Ethiopian coffee pot.
A filter is often placed on the spout to prevent the grounds from escaping. Do not swirl it; pour your coffee by moving your pot over your coffee cups. In Ethiopian tradition, small cups, known as cinis, are often used to serve the coffee.
Ethiopian coffee pots will make you the best coffee, but to get the best result, make sure you get an original pot. Most pots from Ethiopia go through a heat curing step, but some may not; so it is important to ask your provider if the pot has gone through this stage.
It is also a good idea to use freshly ground coffee beans; instant or pre-ground brands rarely give you the best result with this pot.