The Hardwick Gazette

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Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony to be held July 22

CRAFTSBURY – Peter Davis will conduct an Ethiopian coffee ceremony on July 22, at 3 p.m., at the Craftsbury Public Library.

Davis fell in love with Ethiopia’s coffee culture while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the cultivation zone of Sidama. He will be performing a ferenji (foreigner) version of the ceremony.

Even though Yemenese monks are credited with first roasting Arabica typica; coffee leaf tea was prevalent in Ethiopia for hundreds of years before grounds were used to brew.

Coffee cultivation and consumption are a critical component of the Ethiopian story and nowhere is that more evident than in the ubiquitous diurnal coffee ceremony. At least three times a day (though it could be a many as eight), friends and family gather and sip a brew made in the traditional clay jebena. Usually, one pot will be made and water will be boiled with the same grounds three times, becoming successfully weaker over the three cups.

The ceremony is a full sensory experience, from the freshly cut grass under the rekebot serving tray, frankincense on embers, the accompanying popcorn, and the coffee that is roasted and ground via mortar and pestle. Depending on region and preference, sugar, salt, clarified butter, or the herb rue will be added to the small demitasses of brew.

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