Monday, August 06, 2007
Eritrean Coffee Ceremony Part 1
As we arrived for our first Eritrean coffee ceremony, Barb washed the serving cups, spoons and saucers in our presence. She had lit a charcoal fire in a small burner. She measured unroasted beans onto a mat, and sorted through them, discarding any that were not just right.
The beans went into a long-handled roasting pan, Barb fanned the coals with the mat, as she roasted the beans over them. As they darkened, a delicious smell developed.
The roasted beans were presented in the pan, to each guest, to smell and pronounce ready.
Once the beans were roasted, she poured them onto the mat for inspections and gently rolled them to remove any loose husks left.
Barb ground the beans with a heavy metal bar in a grinding cup. She poured the ground coffee onto the mat and funneled it into the brewing carafe, in which water had been heating on the charcoal burner. She watched the brewing coffee carefully so it did not boil over. When it boiled, she set it on a stand for a few minutes while she prepared to serve it.