How Coffee Impacts Ethiopian Culture

December 20, 2022 Joshua Parvin

How Coffee Impacts Ethiopian Culture

Ethiopia is known as the birthplace of coffee. While there are legends surrounding the original story, the coffee tree as we know it today originated in Ethiopia. As it’s told, Ethiopian farmers first learned of coffee’s existence by witnessing its energy-boosting effects. A goat herder was tending to his flock when he noticed his goats eating small red cherries. They were full of energy when they ate them and would not sleep at night.

The goat herder told this to a local monk, who started making drinks from the fruit to keep him awake at night while studying. Word spread, and the rest is history. Then, the Dutch helped take it across the Red Sea to Yemen and later to many other parts of the world. 

Now, Ethiopia is widely regarded as one of the greatest places to grow and enjoy coffee. It’s common to find coffee from Ethiopia being served at any specialty coffee shop.

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremonies

We talk a lot about how coffee fosters community and how drinking coffee is an activity often done together. Ethiopia’s coffee culture is no exception. 

Read more about coffee culture in Papua New Guinea and how coffee is part of China’s growing agricultural space

One of the most notable aspects of their culture is the famous Ethiopian coffee ceremony. These ceremonies last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours and are taken very seriously. Because it is shared amongst friends and family, an invitation to such a ceremony esteems much honor. 

The preparation of coffee can take a couple of hours since the coffee cherries are washed and roasted before brewing. They’re roasted in a specific type of flat pan, and then the coffee is brewed in a traditional clay pot called a jebena.

The aromas of each step of the process are meant to be shared and enjoyed. During the washing of the beans, the roasting, brewing, and enjoying the final product, conversation is to be warmly invited and much of the purpose behind the process. The social aspect of this ceremony is unparalleled.

Ethiopian Coffee Culture

In Ethiopia, coffee is produced more than in any other country in continental Africa. Roughly 50% of the coffee is exported, and the rest is enjoyed domestically. Ethiopia also domestically consumes coffee more than any other country in Africa. 

Our Ethiopian heirloom coffee comes from the Oromia region, the largest in Ethiopia. It is home to slightly more than half of the country’s total coffee production. We work with local farmers to provide them with a reliable and fair income so they can care for their farms and families! 

Ethiopia has rich coffee culture and excellent-tasting coffee. See for yourself! Try our Ethiopia and other single-origin coffees today.